The Government of Zambia has completed a feasibility study and is set to begin the implementation of a USD 115 million World Bank funded Irrigation Development and Support Project (IDSP) that is expected to benefit at least 1,300 small-holders farmers.
Funding for the project will be used to develop the infrastructure of irrigation systems in three identified sites in the Central, Copperbelt and Southern provinces of Zambia in Mufulira, Chibombo, and Siavonga respectively.
According to the Zambian Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Wylbur Simuusa, the ministry has already begun developing the road infrastructure and will construct housing units for the community before developing the actual irrigation infrastructure.
“We first want to develop the road infrastructure and construct the housing units for the community before we can begin developing the irrigation infrastructure,” he said, “We are happy that we have now started implementing this project.”
Hon Simuusa went on to indicate the government’s commitment to providing the displaced community with alternative land to settle as quickly as possible and will contribute USD 75 million to support the resettlement plan.
The irrigation development project is one of largest projects in the World Bank’s Zambian portfolio with plans for the government to increase crop production and irrigated land by at least 50% in order to effectively implement the IDSP.