Energy Hub To Boost Agriculture In Balaka
Community Energy Malawi (CEM) says it will set-up an energy hub in Balaka Shire North to enhance agriculture production at Nakatale Irrigation Scheme.
CEM Renewable Energy Officer, Louis Yona, said in an interview that the drop in water level in the Shire River rendered Nakatale Scheme incapable of harnessing water through canals; hence, the K30 million energy hub will pump the water into the canals.
He said: “Through the Scottish Government-funded Rural Energy Access through Social Enterprise and Decentralization (EASE) project, we are facilitating mainstreaming of energy in the decentralized development process to influence adoption of green and inclusive energy policies.
“The energy hub will also help farmers add value to their tomato crops by making tomato paste and sauce.”
Group Village Headman Chambuluka said the scheme has been idle for over seven years because the water level in the Shire River dropped, rendering the canals unable to divert water from the river.
Nakatale Irrigation Scheme chairperson, Paul Mtendere, said the area experiences drought making it prone to hunger, but the 30-hectare scheme will enable people to cultivate three times a year.
“Apart from pumping water for the scheme, the energy hub will enable people to open barber shops, salons and phone charging enterprises,” he said.
Source: The Nation newspaper, Tuesday, March 24, 2020, page 15. Article written by Mike van Kamande.