An agriculture expert Dr. Felix Lombe says the decision by President Peter Mutharika to create irrigation and water development departments as a stand-alone ministry is not a solution to issues affecting the irrigation sector.
On Thursday, Mutharika announced a new cabinet in which he split into two the initial ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development to make Irrigation and Water Development a stand-alone ministry.
Dr. Lombe, who is also a development economist and head of the African Institute for Cooperate Citizenship (AICC), said the only solution to make irrigation vibrant is to pump in more resources and render a political will to the initiative.
Dr. Lombe said: “For the irrigation sector to register success it needs to be given a political will, technical expertise, proper policies in place, support from different stakeholders and these should work in harmony, but aside these, then nothing will automatically change even turning the department into a stand-alone ministry.”
He further warned that the move by Mutharika can also lead to a drain of government resources.
“Look, irrigation is agriculture then why sidelining it from the ministry of agriculture?” he wondered.
The new ministry will be headed by the ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP) governor for the south, Charles
Mchacha, who is also a Member of Parliament (MP) for Thyolo West.
The president, announced the new cabinet which other ministries have been split raising the number of ministry’s from 23 to 32.