SOUTHERN Province Agricultural Coordinator Max Choombe says a $179,000 Irrigation Scheme is under construction in Chirundu district in Southern province to increase production of high value crops.

Dr Choombe says the Tauya irrigation Scheme in Chief Sikoongo’s chiefdom is being constructed by the United Nations Development Programme supported project the Strengthening Climate Resilience of Agricultural Livelihoods in Agro-Ecological Regions I and II in Zambia (SCLARA Project).

Dr. Choombe notes that the Irrigation Scheme will answer to the negative effects of Climate Change characterised by prolonged dry spells experienced in Chirundu.

And Chirundu Acting Senior Agricultural Officer John Kasunka says the Tauya irrigation Scheme is a Solar Powered Lower Pressure Scheme that will be powered by solar pumps from the Kafue river to the farmers fields in the scheme.

Mr Kasunka said the Tauya Irrigation Scheme has several water tanks with the initial capacity of 80,000 litres that have been mounted on water stands.

He observed that solar panels have already been installed at the scheme as the scheme will use solar power to run solar pumps from the nearby Kafue river to the water tanks.

Mr Kasunka explained that water will fall from the tanks by gravity to supply to the drip lines in the farmers’ fields.

He noted that the farmers will benefit immensely from the irrigation scheme as farmers have a challenge with rainfed cropping as Chirundu in situated in Agro Ecological Region 1 with low rainfall.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Tauya Irrigation Scheme Justin Mwanakanda said the irrigation scheme is sitting on 29 hectares parcel of land.

Mr Mwanakanda said the farmers engaged in the scheme will grow okra, green maize, bananas, rape and other high value crops.

He affirmed that farmers will assist farmers to send children to school, access health facilities, and other developmental areas to improve the farmers’ welfare and livelihoods.

Mr Mwanakanda paid tribute to the SCRALA supported project for coming to the aid of farmers by embarking on the construction of an irrigation scheme.-NAIS