USAID funded AIP program is all geared to transform Malawian agriculture by introducing low cost solar powered irrigation systems. The farmers in Malawi practice rain-fed agriculture, which allow them only one season of crop production. With the new solar powered, low cost and community based irrigation model, farmers can now practice off season crop cultivation leading to a progressive socio economic development. This intervention is uniquely woven around the needs of the communitywith expert support from both the government and private players.
AIP conducted a consultative workshop on 4th February 2016withirrigation experts from LUANAR to help them understand the Malawian conditions and customize this unique irrigation model. The AIP team also conducted a demo on low cost irrigation at the Department of Agricultural Engineering, LUANAR. Participants discussed issues related to feasibility of solar pumping technology, drip irrigation and the proposed community model. The team, along with experts and lead farmers, conducted a 2 days field visit to Chadza, AIP’s focus village, to develop operational plans for implementing this intervention.
AIP plans to pilot this project by April 2016 and, if succeeded, expand it to the entire Chadza village by the end of the year. Irrigation experts from LUANAR will be a playing major role in irrigation designing and implementing this model in the village. Malawi, so far, did not have a second season agricultural practice and introduction of this irrigation model will boost their agrarian economy.