By Esther Manduwa
The Ministry of agriculture says plans are underway to discuss with the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi(ESCOM) on the need to reduce tariffs for smallholder famers who rely on electricity for irrigation farming.
Lobin Lowe said this in Nkhata-Bay after touring Lweya Irrigation Scheme which uses almost K500 thousand a month as a service fee for using generator.
“It is unfortunate that the farmers pay the said amount even if they do not use the water pump, and when they use it, it costs them K15 million for a period of 3 months,” said Lowe.
Lowe said his ministry will negotiate with Escom to reduce the charges for the smallholders famers to benefit from their farming.
One of the farmers Dlamin Neir Galafa said farmers are given a raw deal when it comes to marketing season for their rice, as they only get less than seven million kwacha describing it as a loss compared to what they invest.
Lweya Irrigation Scheme has over 2 thousand small holder farmers.