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A.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

ADD Agricultural Development Division

CONGOMA Council for Non-Government Organizations in Malawi

DITF District Irrigation Task Force

EPA Extension Planning Area

ha Hectares

MASIP Malawi Agriculture and Investment Program

MoFFEA Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs

MoAI Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation

NEC National Economic Council

NIB National Irrigation Board

MoWD Ministry of Water Development

MoLV Ministry of Lands and Valuation

MWS Ministry of Works and Supplies

NGO Non-Government Organization

O&M Operations and Maintenance

RDP Rural Development Project

SACCO Savings and Credit Cooperative

USAID United States Agency for International Development

WRB Water Resources Board

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS..................................................................................................................1

TABLE OF CONTENTS..............................................................................................................................2

1 VISION.........................................................................................................................................................4

2 MISSION STATEMENT............................................................................................................................4

3 NEED FOR AN IRRIGATION POLICY.................................................................................................4

4 BROAD POLICY OBJECTIVES..............................................................................................................5

5 POLICY STATEMENTS............................................................................................................................5

6 BROAD DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES..............................................................................................6

7 DETAILS OF DEVELOMENT STRATEGIES.......................................................................................7


7.1 IDENTIFICATION OF AREAS WITH IRRIGATION POTENTIAL.....................................................................................7
7.2 CAPACITY BUILDING IN DOI, PRIVATE SECTOR AND INSTITUTIONS...............................................................7
7.3 PROCEDURES FOR IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT..................................................................................................8
7.3.1 Farmer Participation and Ownership.............................................................................................8
7.3.2 Environmental Protection...............................................................................................................9
7.3.3 Scheme financing.............................................................................................................................9
7.3.5 Women’s participation in irrigation................................................................................................9
7.3.6 New Technologies and Research in Irrigated Agriculture............................................................10
7.3.7 Marketing and Crop Diversification.............................................................................................11
7.3.8 Private Sector and NGO Participation in Irrigation Development..............................................11
7.4 SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT........................................................................12
7.4.1 Scheme Development.....................................................................................................................12

7.4.2 Transfer of management of existing government schemes to their beneficiaries..........................12


7.4.3 Rehabilitation of old Earth dams and Construction of New Ones................................................13
7.4.4 Assistance to Informal Irrigation Sector.......................................................................................13
8 EXPECTED OUTPUTS............................................................................................................................14

9 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK........................................................................................................16
9.1 LEGISLATION............................................................................................................................................17
9.2 THE IRRIGATION DEPARTMENT...............................................................................................................17
9.3 ROLE OF GOVERNMENT........................................................................................................................18
9.4 OTHER INSTITUTIONS.................................................................................................................................20
9.5 WOMEN IN IRRIGATED AGRICULTURE...........................................................................................................22
9.6 PRIVATE SECTOR.......................................................................................................................................22
9.6.1 Consultancies................................................................................................................................23
9.6.2 Farming Communities...................................................................................................................23
9.6.3 Private Estate and Commercial Farming sub-sector....................................................................23
9.6.4 Private sector equipment and spare parts suppliers.....................................................................24
9.6.5 Credit and Banking Institutions.....................................................................................................24
9.7 NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS........................................................................................................24
9.8 DONORS...................................................................................................................................................25
ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................25

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 2


ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................26

TIME FRAME..............................................................................................................................................26
2.2 Institutions...................................................................................................................................28
ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................28

TIME FRAME..............................................................................................................................................28

RESPONSIBILITY......................................................................................................................................28

ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................29
DISTRICT IRRIGATION PLANNING.......................................................................................................................29
ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................31

TIME FRAME..............................................................................................................................................31

RESPONSIBILITY......................................................................................................................................31

ACTIVITY....................................................................................................................................................32

TIME FRAME..............................................................................................................................................32

RESPONSIBILITY......................................................................................................................................32

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................33

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................33

REMINDERS................................................................................................................................................33
DOI..............................................................................................................................................................33
ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................34

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................34

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................35

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................36

ACTIVITIES.................................................................................................................................................37

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 3


1 VISION

The Vision of the Department of Irrigation is “ Prosperity Through Irrigation By The Year 2020”

2 MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Department of Irrigation is "To manage and develop water and land resources
for diversified, economically sound and sustainable irrigation and drainage systems under
organized small holder and estate management institutions and to maintain an effective advisory
service”.

The Irrigation Department is mandated to facilitate, the increase and stabilization of agricultural
production, through mobilization of small and large scale irrigation projects with human and
financial resources provision from beneficiaries, the private sector, NGOs and the public sector;
with full participation of the beneficiaries and ample observance of environmental aspects to
ensure sustained productivity and, equitable involvement across all gender lines, for food security,
effective poverty alleviation, and national economic development.

3 NEED FOR AN IRRIGATION POLICY

The Government of Malawi has produced this National Irrigation Policy and Development
Strategy, to provide a clear statement of the Government's aspirations for the irrigation sector and
to highlight the strategy for attaining irrigation development objectives.

The occurrence of droughts and their effect on crop production have resulted in increased
emphasis on irrigation development. However, prospects for development have fundamentally
changed in the context of the process of structural adjustment of the national economy which
began in the 1980's. The role of the government has been changed from that of the main entity in
the centrally regulated economy to that of a facilitator of development in a market oriented
economy.

Current high population growth rates demand much more of agriculture than in the past and Malawi
needs to realize a major growth in both agricultural production and export earnings to meet the needs
of the expanding population at the same time as provide for some improvement in per capita food
consumption. Considering the abundant land and water resources in the country, irrigation could
provide a significant technical means to increase agricultural output.

There is a need for a clear and comprehensive policy to guide irrigation development in Malawi. There
are a number of existing irrigation schemes in the country, and the potential for further development
can only be maximised within a policy framework which reflects national development policy. In
particular, there is a need for irrigation policy to reflect the shift away from public sector irrigation
development towards private sector agricultural development which is a cornerstone of the new
economic policy. There is also a need to view irrigation in the broad context of regional development,
such that new schemes contribute to the socio-economic advancement of the local populations in
addition to meeting specific economic criteria. Irrigation must also fit into a strategy of sustainable and
environmentally appropriate natural resource development.

There is a need for careful coordination with other disciplines to ensure that proposals for
development are not contradictory or overlapping, but are mutually supporting and form a coherent
policy framework. Irrigation policy therefore needs to be linked with policies covering other sectors.

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4 BROAD POLICY OBJECTIVES

The broad policy objectives of the irrigation sector are:

4.1 Contribute to poverty alleviation by targeting resource poor small holder farmers for
irrigation development to enhance farm income and by supplementing the recommended strategies
for rain fed agriculture outlined in Malawi's "The Agricultural and Livestock Development
Strategy and Action Plan".

4.2 Increase agriculture production and enhance food security through irrigation, which will ensure
some production during droughts, and the dry season, and this will supplement rain fed
agriculture.

4.3 Extend cropping opportunities and provide a wider variety of crops in both wet and dry seasons to
improve nutritional status, especially of children and women.

4.4 Create an enabling environment for irrigated agriculture; by facilitating and encouraging the
private sector to invest in irrigation development, and encourage rural communities to manage
irrigation projects in order to fully utilize irrigable land in Malawi.

4.5 Optimize government investment in irrigation development by applying principles of cost sharing
and cost recovery.

4.6 Enhance human capacity for irrigated agriculture in the public, parastatal and private sector in
order to facilitate effective research in irrigation technology and marketing of irrigated produce.

4.7 Create the spirit of business culture in the small scale irrigated agriculture sector, to promote and
provide competitive financing of irrigation projects and improve the marketing system at national
and international levels.

5 POLICY STATEMENTS

All irrigation development will be coordinated by the National Irrigation Board

The Department of Irrigation will act as a facilitator in the development process to create an
environment that encourages the private sector, smallholder farmers, estates and commercial farms
to invest in irrigation development and manage their own operations

Irrigation development will be promoted and facilitated to increase income generation and
commercialisation of the sector. Although priority will be given to the development of
smallholder agriculture, private investment in irrigated agriculture will also be promoted and
facilitated.

Development of irrigation schemes will ensure full participation of the farmer


beneficiaries from the identification through planning, design to implementation and operation and
maintenance. This strategy will ensure that beneficiaries have full ownership of the developed
schemes.

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be undertaken for all medium and large scale
irrigation development. Any detrimental environmental impacts associated with irrigated agriculture
should be avoided or minimised. Areas of national importance in terms of their cultural, biological or
environmental significance should be protected. Soils which are subject to irrigation development
shall be properly managed with a view to ensuring their sustainable productivity and soil conservation
measures to reduce the degradation of the catchments will be promoted.

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Health aspects will be thoroughly addressed in the planning, design, financing, construction and
operation of all irrigation schemes.

The overall policy for financing irrigation development is that it occurs with minimum government
subsidy. Government will optimize its investment in irrigation development by applying principles
of cost sharing and cost recovery.

The government will undertake the task of improving the quality of irrigation education at all
levels. The extension service for irrigated agriculture will be strengthened to reflect the growing
importance of the smallholder farmer to agriculture.

International cooperation in irrigation research will be actively promoted in order to provide more
opportunities for acquisition of information from active centres of research in the world.

Research into the development of appropriate technical inputs which focus upon the needs of the
small-scale farmer and which take into account the local situation and problems will be promoted.
Innovations must be attractive to farmers and relevant to their circumstances.

6 BROAD DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

6.1 Identify areas with irrigation potential in order to increase land put under irrigation based on the
existing irrigation potential.

6.2 Enhance technical and administrative Capacity in irrigated agriculture in the Irrigation
Department, together with improved technical capacity in the private sector and training
institutions so that in the next ten years, the private sector can take on irrigation/dam design and
construction, and the training institutions can offer Diplomas/Degrees and short courses in
irrigation.

6.3 Assist small holder farmers, to develop and manage new and existing irrigation schemes
through establishment of local farmer organizations that can assume full ownership of existing
irrigation schemes and the new pilot schemes.

6.4 Transfer ownership of existing government schemes to the beneficiaries, through participatory
methods that will enhance farmers responsibility and obligations towards the management of the
schemes.

6.5 Assist the informal irrigation sector, through greater presence of the Irrigation Department
in Regional, District and Rural Communities to provide irrigation technology advice where
it is needed most.

6.6 Conduct research in irrigation technology in order to promote the use of appropriate advanced and
simple technologies in irrigated agriculture with due attention to efficient utilization of water
resources.

6.7 Facilitate the establishment of a well coordinated marketing system with considerable local
processing and better storage/transportation of farm produce.

6.8 Address specific problems that women face in irrigated agriculture in order to achieve
greater participation of women in the small scale irrigation sector.

These Broad Development Strategies are further elaborated in section 8 below.

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7 DETAILS OF DEVELOMENT STRATEGIES

7.1 Identification of areas with irrigation potential

• The government will identify areas with the physical potential for irrigated agriculture by
reviewing existing studies and conducting additional studies.

• Additional studies of groundwater resources are necessary to define potential for irrigation
from this source. After completion of groundwater studies, areas with the potential for
irrigation development using groundwater will be identified. Examination of other existing
water uses and future additional studies of groundwater will be made to ensure that sufficient
water exists for newly planned irrigation developments.

• Available information concerning the economics of water use as a scarce resource will be
updated to assist in rational irrigation development.

• Far the areas with the potential for irrigation development, the role of irrigation in the agro-
ecological production pattern will be established to determine the location, timing and
conditions for irrigation. Priority will be given to development of those areas with the best
chance of success taking into account social factors, cost effectiveness and financial viability.

7.2 Capacity Building in DoI, Private Sector and Institutions

• The key to sustainable capacity building lies in the development of existing local expertise
and training institutions to offer courses in irrigation technology and management. The
training needs and capacity shortfalls in the Department of Irrigation were identified in a
separate study (Dam and Dambo “Institutions”), which will form a basis of a training program
including on-the-job training, short courses (local and overseas).

• Government will implement a program to improve irrigation training at all levels, and
enhance national capacities for developing irrigation and providing support to small holder
farmers. This will be carried out in line with the training proposal deriving from the
Institutional and Training Needs Assessment Study, and will be tailored to meet the actual
demands of the public and the private sector. A continuous assessment of training needs will
be carried out, to ensure that training programs keep track of demands and changes in
irrigation development in the country.

• Different levels of support will be provided from the retraining of existing staff to the
improvement of graduate and undergraduate courses. The curriculum of the appropriate
Colleges in Malawi will be revised to include courses in irrigation agronomy; irrigation
engineering and associated development planning which will complement agricultural
modules for existing courses.

• The previous study established that there is limited capacity in existing training institutions,
efforts are already underway to develop appropriate curriculum for degree, diploma and
certificate courses. What still remains, though, is provision of scholarships to improve the
capacity of local staff in irrigation technology. There is need for resources to be set aside, so
that staff in existing training institutions can access for short courses, study visits, and
academic degrees.

• Irrigation extension training will be provided to MoAI to complement rainfed extension


training agents in irrigation technology and day-to-day system operation and maintenance to

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enable them to advise farmers in irrigation schemes. An effort will be made to place
extension agents trained in irrigation technology in EPAs where irrigation exists and where
irrigation development is planned.

• Training programs for farmers interested in irrigation will be developed and included in the
government assistance programmes for irrigation development. Demonstration of proper
irrigation technology at the farm level will be part of this training program. Farmer training
will also include instruction in leadership skills to enhance management of farmer
organizations.

• To ensure quality and sustainability, the short courses aimed at improving staff in Irrigation
Department and the Ministry of Agriculture in general, should be carefully monitored and
evaluated in order to develop archives of training materials for future short courses. The Local
Materials and Training Evaluation Expert who is currently evaluating and monitoring short
courses may have to incorporate other experts and the service extended beyond the two man
months.

• As the Irrigation Department plans and offers the short courses for its staff, efforts should be
made to include staff from relevant Departments (Extension, Crops, Water etc) together with
staff from relevant Private Sectors and NGOs. There may be need in future, once the Private
Sector realizes benefits of this training, to develop cost sharing.

7.3 Procedures for Irrigation Development

7.3.1 Farmer Participation and Ownership

• A participatory approach will be used to assist farmers to improve and develop their schemes.
This will be designed to ensure participation of farmers in the planning and decision-making
process as well as appreciating the nature and role of the different stakeholders. The
fundamental principle for this approach is a respect for farmer’s autonomy and freedom of
choice.

• The governing principle in irrigation management will be the full ownership of irrigation
schemes by the beneficiaries through their legally constituted local organizations that will
oversee all matters related to operation and maintenance of these schemes, hence formation of
farmer organizations will be the necessary condition for scheme development.

• Informal and formal group formation will be an integral part of ensuring community
involvement in the schemes and the sustainability of interventions. Assistance will be
provided to the farmers and communities in forming farmer organizations and common
interest groups for development, management, operation and maintenance of the schemes and
also in the marketing of crops and supply of inputs. Farmer organizations will be the main
focus of attention with guidance and training provided including the role and operating
procedures of an association, structure and responsibilities of farmer organizations officers,
procedures for their election, internal rules and regulations and the rights and obligations of
the members. Government will facilitate farmer organizations in obtaining credit, enter into
contracts or agreements with the Government or any financial organization and in support of
this will legalize farmer organizations under the Cooperative Act. Farmer organizations will
have to have legal recognition.

• Farmer Organizations will be empowered to enter into negotiations with Government on land
related issues. As far as Government schemes are concerned, the details of future ownership
will ensure transfer of the land and assets to local farmers’ organizations. The FAO supported
pilot studies into handing over of the schemes will further contribute to modalities of scheme

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hand over once these studies finalized and approved. The ownership of existing small earth
dams, once they have been rehabilitated, will be formally handed over to the local
organization which should be granted Water rights by the Water Resources Board.

7.3.2 Environmental Protection

• All irrigation development will be integrated with other natural resource management
activities such as catchment management in order to protect the environment.

• For all irrigation development an assessment will be made to ensure that unacceptable
environmental impacts are avoided and that features such as high water tables, salinity and
erosion are monitored.

• The impact of irrigation development on health will be closely monitored.

7.3.3 Scheme financing

• Costs for rehabilitation of the government schemes prior to turnover will be borne by the
government. All operation, maintenance and replacement costs are to be borne by the farmers
in the irrigation schemes. Assistance in securing credit availability for scheme beneficiaries
will be similar to that for self-help schemes.

• The overall policy for financing irrigation development is that it occurs with minimum
government subsidy. All operation, maintenance and replacement costs are to be borne by the
beneficiaries of irrigation schemes. The government will develop a program of cost sharing
for capital costs of irrigation development. In developing this program, consideration will be
given to matching grants, in-kind contributions from beneficiaries, food-for-work programs
and cost sharing for materials, equipment and labor. In developing the cost sharing program,
the farmer's ability to pay will be taken into consideration.

• The government will also explore ways of securing credit availability to the irrigated
agriculture sector. The following strategies will be used to improve the availability of credit:

♦ Promote the establishment and growth of farmer-oriented financial intermediaries


such as Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs), Village Banks etc. This will
require examining the potential role of farmer owned intermediaries, identifying
constraints to their formal establishment and operation, and developing and
implementing policies that will actively promote establishment and growth of the
organizations.

♦ Encourage other existing organizations/associations which have a vested interest in


providing suitable services to their members to act as channels for credit.

♦ Encourage financial institutions to recycle savings and invest in irrigated agriculture


production, which will help enhance productivity of small holder farmers.

7.3.5 Women’s participation in irrigation

• Rural communities will be sensitized through participatory methods to encourage them to


incorporate female members in their local organizations management committees, and
ownership of land by women will be encouraged within the realm of socio-cultural
constraints.
• Women will be encouraged to participate in small scale irrigation projects through public
awareness campaigns that can allow women to go through exchange visits and seminars.

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• Recognize the importance of gender roles in irrigation in all training programs.
Tailor made public awareness campaigns and extension services in irrigation
programs to the different roles and priorities of men and women, and ensure that
women have equal access to extension messages on irrigated agriculture.

• Government will promote the greater involvement of women in community organizations and
irrigation developments. This will include:

♦ Ensure that public awareness campaigns concerning irrigation programs include


women;
♦ Facilitate women’s participation in irrigation decision making, plot ownership and
management;
♦ Recognize the importance of gender roles in irrigation in all training programs;
♦ Tailor public awareness campaigns and extension services in irrigation programs to
the different roles and priorities of men and women;
♦ Ensure that irrigation extension service is provided to female headed households;
♦ Encourage the development of women’s organizations in rural areas in collaboration
with concerned Ministries and no-government organizations (NGOs);
♦ Remove barriers against women in accessing credit and land.

• Evaluation criteria for local organizations should include level of participation by women in
terms of office bearers in the organization and women farmers in the scheme.

• In order to encourage women participation in irrigated agriculture, there should be a special


programme that can fund women exchange visits in various schemes within the country and
some visits within the region to countries with a tradition of irrigated agriculture.

7.3.6 New Technologies and Research in Irrigated Agriculture

• To enhance production and efficiency in irrigated agriculture, suitable technologies to small


holder farmers that take cognizance of women farmers and income levels will be developed,
while some technologies will be imported and adapted for Malawian conditions. Technology
acquisition will be coordinated through the Irrigation Department which will be a clearing
house for locally developed technologies and those adapted from other countries.

• Government will act as a catalyst for the introduction, development and testing of irrigation
technologies appropriate for small holder irrigation. These will comprehend the financial and
technological limitations of the resource poor farmers and may include simple water
harvesting techniques, hand dug wells, manual or fuel operated small pumps and simple
diversion and water control structures. The intention of this support is raise awareness of the
farmers to the options available to them together with cost and benefits of operating them.

• A research and development programme, will be established for the testing and further
development of small water lifting devices small scale processing and labour saving
technologies, that are affordable to resources poor farmers. This program will include
promotion of local manufacturing of these devices. To avoid duplication of research efforts
among all stake holders, research in irrigation technology will be coordinated by the
Machinery Unit in the Department of Research so that all research efforts are documented and
monitored.

• Dissemination of research results will be through the existing networks of libraries and
presentation of papers at seminars and work shops.

• Among the research needs in the Irrigation Sub-sector are:

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♦ Technical issues (e.g. the development of appropriate technology);
♦ Agronomic issues (e.g. interaction between water and fertilizer);
♦ Environmental issues (e.g. impact on health, bio-diversity, wildlife);
♦ Social issues (e.g. appropriate management structures);
♦ Land and water issues (e.g. soil degradation, salinity control, water use efficiencies);
♦ Financial issues (e.g. financial viability from a farmers perspective);
♦ Economic issues (e.g. the interest in irrigation development from a national
perspective);
♦ Policy issues (e.g research to support policy decisions)
♦ Dissemination of research results to farmers through extension services will be
improved.

7.3.7 Marketing and Crop Diversification

• The Government will explore alternatives to handling and marketing of farmers produce in
order to realize the maximum possible gross margins from irrigated agriculture. Experiences
from other countries in the region, in terms of Marketing and Processing Boards will have to
be evaluated for possible adoption in Malawi. These Boards could initially be established by
Government but later sold for privatization.

• The Department of Irrigation will play a catalytic role in influencing market intelligence
among the farmer organizations, and provide guidance through farmer training in effective
negotiations on pricing of agricultural commodities.

• The Department of Irrigation will support the promotion of crop diversification in irrigation
development.

• Estate farms should be encouraged to take up a coordinating role of storage, processing and
marketing of farm produce, so that they are a nuclei of Marketing and Processing Boards.

7.3.8 Private Sector and NGO Participation in Irrigation Development

• The government will create an enabling environment which will encourage the private sector
to invest in the development of irrigation systems. The government will promote crop
diversification through irrigation by encouraging its use on crops which will give a high return
to irrigation. Government policies and legislation concerning agriculture, imports of
agricultural inputs and equipment and commodity exports will be reviewed to determine if
changes in these policies and law are warranted to enhance irrigated agriculture on estates and
commercial farms.

• Extension services are currently concentrate on rainfed agriculture. Government will provide
some services for irrigated agriculture, but these will be aimed at the poorest farmers with
limited resources. To meet the demands of all small holder farmers, Government will
encourage private sector involvement in irrigation support and extension services and in the
improvement of equipment and spare parts supply and repair service;
• The purpose of the privatized extension services will be too give advice on wide ranging
issues related to irrigated agriculture to promote sustainable use of land and water resources
within an irrigation scheme. These services will include such aspects as irrigation techniques,
water use efficiencies, irrigation management, land leveling and scheme operation and
maintenance.

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7.4 Smallholder Irrigation Development and Management

7.4.1 Scheme Development

• Government will develop an awareness programme to inform farmers of the potential for
improvement of irrigation in all potential areas, irrespective of the type of system and stage of
development. This will be achieved through dialogue to identify the agricultural, technical
and social problems of areas of interest, as well as the interest and attitudes of beneficiaries,
community capacity and aspirations in irrigated agriculture. Technical guidance will be
provided by government to communities and individual farmers in planning, designing,
construction and management of schemes, through, the ADDs and RDPs.

• A participatory approach will be used to assist farmers to develop these schemes. The
fundamental principle for this approach is a respect for farmer's autonomy and right of free
choice. Procedures will be developed to ensure participation of farmers in the planning and
decision-making process. The participation process will be designed to appreciate the nature
and role of different interests, identify areas of common interest and compromise, and identify
and resolve problems.

• To support the expressed demand in irrigation by the communities, the Government will
identify areas with the physical potential for irrigated agriculture by reviewing existing studies
and commissioning additional studies. The focus for irrigation development will be food
security and poverty alleviation. Information on existing water users and requirements will be
included, together with projections for abstractions to ensure that conflicting demands for the
same water resources are not created, and that sufficient water exists for planned irrigation
developments.

• The self-help schemes will be planned to ensure that irrigation will be part of a
comprehensive effort to remove constraints in agriculture production, and be sustainable over
time. Planning of self-help schemes will include economic and financial analyses. The level
and detail of these analyses will depend on the size and complexity of the development.

• For schemes to be developed in dambo areas, an analysis will be made to ensure that
unacceptable environmental impacts and high water table and salinity problems are
minimized. Development of dambo areas via government assisted self-help schemes will
require review and possible amendment of national law concerning the use of these areas.

• Schemes will be designed to be manageable and sustainable over time. Cost optimization,
as opposed to cost minimization, will be the principle adopted for system design. The
government will honor the existing customary land tenure system in the development of self-
help schemes.

• Catchment wide development plans will be prepared so that irrigation schemes and project
programmes within the same river basin are coordinated. They will also be connected with
related plans such as rural road developments to enhance marketing opportunities, or rural
electrification programmes for those sites requiring pumping and complement other relevant
studies such as those conducted on water use by the Minister of Water Development. River
Authorities, once established will play a major role in ensuring this coordination within the
stipulated environmental regulations from the Environmental Affairs Department.

7.4.2 Transfer of management of existing government schemes to their beneficiaries

• The intention of Government is to transfer ownership, management, operation and


maintenance of existing government irrigation schemes to those farmers who are currently in

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these schemes. These schemes are located on public land, as government developed the
schemes, and because of this, they can only be handed over to an organization that has
recognized legal status. Government will thus introduce legislation that will enable the
formation and registration of small holder irrigation farmers’ groups, to which the
Government would then hand over the ownership of the schemes. The most appropriate
organizations for the schemes are either associations or cooperatives .

• Assistance will be provided to the beneficiary farmers to establish the most suitable groups for
the schemes in question, and to complete the necessary formalities to meet the requirements
of the Cooperatives Act under which the organizations will be legalized. Transferring
management of schemes to the organizations will be based upon a participatory approach and
will be formalized on the basis of an agreement. This agreement will specify tenure and
operation and maintenance responsibilities. Land tenure arrangements and allocation
procedures will be developed after an evaluation of this issue. However, there will be formal
hand-over of schemes to farmers organizations, preferably on lease basis so that its members
will be given title deeds that are able to pass the land onto family members and encourage
investments.

• The schemes will be rehabilitated prior to transferring scheme management to these


organizations to ensure that they are suitable for beneficiary management and are within their
capabilities. Capital investments will be made by Government to compensate for past
deferred maintenance, and the rehabilitation of the schemes will be implemented in
consultation with the local organizations.

• After transfer, all operation, maintenance and replacement costs will be the responsibility of
the local organizations and hence the farmers on each of the irrigation scheme. As with the
other small holder schemes, assistance will be provided for facilitating credit availability for
the scheme beneficiaries. This will be similar to that for self-help schemes.

7.4.3 Rehabilitation of old Earth dams and Construction of New Ones

• Existing earth dams in areas with potential for irrigation development will be surveyed with
the intention of establishing both technical and social needs of the area. The Dam Dambo
study has developed guidelines for such assessment and this will be adhered to for future
rehabilitation exercises. Emphasis in the evaluation will be, the willingness of the farmers to
organize themselves and be ready to take full responsibility in the operation and maintenance
of the water works at the dam.

• Construction of new dams will follow a similar approach as the rehabilitation, there should be
a strong potential for irrigated agriculture and willingness from farmers to form organizations
and contribute towards the capital expenses.

• In both rehabilitation and construction of new dams, construction work which is beyond the
capacity of the beneficiaries will be contracted to the private sector. In the interim period until
the private sector develops capacity, the Department of Irrigation will take up some of these
construction works. The Department will subcontract certain activities to the private sector
during the interim period, but will supervise the subcontracted works and this should expose
the private sector to procedures for tendering and executing public works.

7.4.4 Assistance to Informal Irrigation Sector

• A survey will be made to assess the extent of the area under informal irrigation (traditional
rice and dimbas), and to assess its problems and constraints.

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• Based upon this survey, the government will act as a catalyst for developing informal
irrigation by providing information about and access to simple irrigation technologies. These
technologies may include simple water harvesting techniques, hand dug wells, manual or fuel
operated small pumps and simple diversion and water control structures. This program will be
part of the agriculture development options at the RDP/EPA levels.

• A research and development program will be established for the testing and further
development of small lifting devices that are affordable to resource poor farmers. This
program will include promotion of local manufacturing of these devices.

• Existing regulations concerning excise taxes will be reviewed to determine whether changes
would make simple imported irrigation equipment more readily available to farmers.
Legislation concerning use of dambo areas will be reviewed and changes proposed, as
needed, to allow appropriate irrigation development.

8 EXPECTED OUTPUTS

The developed policy and strategy is expected to address key constraints in the Irrigation Sector,
and achieve results that can be interpreted in overall welfare uplifting of the rural masses with
subsequent poverty alleviation and increased food security. Paramount to these achievements is
the need to adhere to sustainable operations that pay due respect to factors of environmental
preservation and conservation.

The following is a summary of expected outputs:

8.1 Increase of land put under irrigation based on the existing irrigation potential

• Up to 15% of irrigable land is utilized in the next 5 years and a further 20% is developed
in the subsequent 5 years;

• Flood plains and dambos with irrigation potential are fully utilized in the next fifteen
years, and all available waters impounded in small dams are exploited for irrigating the
surrounding land, within the realm of the Water Resources Act, Part II Section 6 (Right to
public water for domestic purposes).

8.2 Production of crops from irrigated agriculture is increased and there is considerable
diversification of crops

• Farmers have greater reliance on irrigated crops as a primary source of food for the
family rather than using irrigation as a secondary source as is the case presently;

• Yield per unit area of maize is increased from the current average of 10 bags per hectare
to at least 15 bags per hectare due to high yields from irrigated maize;

• The crop variety from irrigated agriculture is diversified away from a predominantly rice
base to other crops like green maize, vegetables and spices;

• Improved on-field water management research and technics are implemented in irrigated
agriculture.

8.3 Establishment of a well coordinated marketing system with considerable local processing
and better storage/transportation of farm produce

• Formation of local storage and processing centers which will also act as wholesale market
points for irrigated farm produce;

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 14


• Introduction of small scale processing units with adequate capacity for local produce;

• Organization and management of communal transport arrangements to move farm


produce to urban markets and other demand areas;

• Improved communication of market prices for agricultural produce.

8.4 Greater participation of the Private Sector and NGOs in the planning, design and
construction of irrigation projects

• Up to 80% of small dams and small irrigation projects designed and constructed by the
private Sector and NGO;

• At least 60% of medium to large scale projects designed in collaboration with the Private
Sector and NGOs;

• Up to 100% of large dams and irrigation projects constructed by the Private Sector;

• Up to 70% of services in terms of maintenance, repairs and equipment supply provided


by the Private Sector and NGOs.

8.5 Establishment of local organizations for full ownership of existing irrigation schemes and the
new pilot schemes

• Formation of farmer organizations with legal status to acquire land and water rights;

• Handing over of existing irrigation schemes to the beneficiaries under a formal agreement
with subsequent better management and increased production;

• Formation of Regional and National farmer organizations that can effectively bargain for
better services and markets;

• Beneficiaries to pay full cost of operation and maintenance of irrigation schemes;

• Beneficiaries to enter into cost sharing negotiations with Government on the construction
of major projects and such costs should range from 15% on big projects; to 30% on small
projects payable by beneficiaries.

8.6 Greater participation of women in irrigated agriculture

• More women serving as members of committees on the local organizations;

• Increased number of women owning land in irrigation schemes;

• Greater interaction of women in irrigation schemes through exchange visits;

• Legal instruments for inheritance of irrigation plots by women.

8.7 Greater presence of the Irrigation Department in Regional, District and communities (ADD,
RDP and EPAs)

• Establishment of Divisional Irrigation Officers and Technical Posts at RDP level;

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 15


• Limited staff positions at Headquarters and filling up of vacancies of Irrigation personnel
at RDP level with subsequent training of front line staff at EPA level in irrigation technology;

• Links between front line extension personnel and the Irrigation Officers at ADD and RDP
are well defined and strengthened.

8.8 Technical and administrative Capacity in irrigated agriculture is improved in the Irrigation
Department

• The Department is able to translate policy into strategies and long term irrigation
development;

• The Department has roles and procedures in place for monitoring and evaluation of
irrigation projects;

• The Department is able to prepare contract documents for the planning and design of
large scale dams, and has the capacity to supervise contractors for the construction of large
dams;

• The Department is able to conduct on-the-job training for its junior staff and is able to
supervise medium and small scale dams at ADD and RDP levels;

• The Department is able to prepare contract documents for large scale and medium scale
irrigation and drainage projects and is also able to supervise contractors on these projects.

8.9 Technical Capacity in the private Sector and Training Institutions is improved in the next ten
years for the Private Sector to take on irrigation/dam design and construction and the
Institutions to offer Degree, Diploma and Short Courses in irrigation

• Curriculum in irrigated agriculture for Degree, Diploma and Certificate courses are
developed and operational;

• Training materials in specific areas of irrigation are developed and fully tested;

• There are adequate members of staff to teach all aspects of irrigated agriculture;

• The private sector has competent staff to prepare documentation to bid for consultancy
work and construction projects in irrigation;

• The Private Sector is able to provide irrigation services to Estate farms and small holder
irrigation schemes.

9 INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Irrigation development will be under the mandate of the Irrigation Department. Other major
participants in the institutional framework for irrigation development include:

♦ Sector Ministries
♦ Water Resources Board
♦ National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage
♦ Training Institutions
♦ Private Sector
♦ NGOs
♦ Farming Communities

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 16


♦ Donors
♦ National Irrigation Task Force
♦ District Irrigation Task Force

The Irrigation Department should always be given autonomy in consultation with the National
Economic Council (NEC) to encourage innovation and local initiative to formulate project
proposals, and allow direct negotiation with Donors in order to sustain existing capabilities the
Department has developed in project formulation and sourcing of funds from Donors.

There should be flexibility within the controlling Ministry and Government Policy, to allow the
Department of Irrigation direct access to other relevant Ministries and Departments to ensure
continued close liaison with all stakeholders in the agriculture industry.

9.1 Legislation

An Irrigation Act is to be formulated and instituted in order to guide irrigation development


through its regulations and, also create avenues of operation among the Department of Irrigation,
the Private Sector, the Donor Community, parastatals, rural communities and NGOs. The
Irrigation Act so formed should be in harmony with all relevant sectoral legislation especially in
agriculture, environment, water, mining, lands, forestry/wild life and fisheries.

All irrigation development will be coordinated with other disciplnes by the National Irrigation
Board to ensure that proposals for development are not contradictory or overlapping , but are
mutually supporting and form a coherent policy framework.

9.2 The Irrigation Department

• The Irrigation Department will promote integrated approach in the planning and design of
irrigation projects and other irrigation infrastructures like dams and intake points in order to
ensure adherence to designs and specifications of irrigation works.

• The Irrigation Department should have greater presence in the field at ADD, RDP, Districts
and EPA with a thin Headquarters complement, so that the Department is focused at
implementation assessment, evaluation and monitoring using the locally available private
sector contractors.

• The Department will gradually dispose some of its construction plant since it will no longer be
directly involved in design and construction of earth works, but will rather supervise the
private sector, which will in future take up these activities.

• Most of the irrigation planning, designing, and implementation will devolve to ADD, RDP and
District levels, so that the Department of Irrigation will provide advisory and supervisory
services to these centers, especially the preparation and administration of construction
contracts and other consultancy services.

• The Department will formulate irrigation designs and specifications, which will be a basis for
monitoring and evaluation of irrigation works, in order to adhere to building and environmental
regulations in Malawi.

• The Department’s irrigation development strategy will take cognizance of resource poor rural
families and gender constraints in order to institute uniform participation of the whole rural
community for effective poverty alleviation.

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 17


9.3 Role of Government

Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation

• The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation will be at the centre of irrigated agriculture
development. As such, the Ministry will be responsible for ensuring close coordination
between the various Departments and sections; Agricultural Research, Extension, Crops,
Mechanization, Agricultural Development Divisions, Rural Development Projects and the
Extension Planning Areas. Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation will also ensure coordination
with other Ministries, Departments and relevant parastatals and NGOs. The main areas for
coordination are:

♦ Means of promotion of irrigation development in areas with irrigation potential;


♦ Methods for initial identification of farmers’ level of interest in irrigation and their
needs and subsequent follow-up;
♦ Training of staff to meet the demand of their new roles;
♦ Irrigation extension and research;
♦ Group formation and organization at community level;
♦ Famer training and motivation;
♦ Gender issues and greater involvement of women in irrigation programmes;
♦ Particular programs concerning self-help and government schemes;
♦ Conservation of catchments, dambos and flood plain development areas.
♦ On-field and catchment water conservation to ensure dependable and accessible
water resources.

• Extension programmes will be the most important component in the promotion of irrigation
development, as it is by this means that information on existing demand and resources is
coupled with the provision of information and support to the interested farmers and
communities. Training and retraining of field staff (ADD; RDP; EPA;) will be carried out on a
regular basis to encompass all of the areas of coordination as outlined above. Longer-term
institutional development programmes will be established not only for the Department of
Irrigation but also for those Departments and Sections like the Private Sector, NGOs, and the
University, which are directly linked with the promotion of irrigation.

• Existing databases on land classification, land use, development of potential and existing
irrigation projects will be revised and integrated into a national database that can easily be
accessed by all stake holders in land related activities including the Irrigation Department

• MoAI will ensure the full integration of research and extension services for both irrigated and
rainfed agriculture to ensure that all staff are adequately equipped to meet the needs of all rural
areas. They will also define clear responsibilities between Departments. The Ministry will have
to fully orient Field assistants as change agents in all areas of agriculture ranging from
livestock to irrigated agriculture.

• The Agricultural and Livestock Development Strategies and Action Plan (ALDSAP),
established in 1995, will be updated to comprehend the additional resource needs and
investment opportunities in the irrigation sub-sector, within the realm of MASIP, resulting
from the adoption of the National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy (NIPDS).

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 18


• In-house programmes will be established so that professional staff are given exposure and
practical experience through on-the-job training. This will be supplemented with training in
policy formulation and management as tools to assist staff in the implementation of irrigation
projects. Other members of staff involved in irrigation activities (e.g. Land Husbandry
Officers, etc.) will receive some formal training in irrigation according to structured training
support programmes. These will also include administrative staff who will be trained to
respond to the needs of the Department of Irrigation.

• MoAI will promote irrigated agriculture in accordance with the sectoral policy objectives,
principles and strategies of the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) and the National
Environmental Policy (NEP).

• Cooperation between Government, local communities, women’s groups, non-


governmental organizations and the private sector will be promoted by MoAI in the
management and sustainable utilization of the natural resources and the environment.
•Crops grown in Government Irrigation Schemes will be deregularized, so that farmers are free to
grow crops based on existing demand and expected returns in oder to allow diversification of
irrigated crops and competitive prices.

Ministry of Water Development

Functions of this Ministry that relate to irrigation are:

♦ Water resource planning and development;


♦ Maintenance of water resource data bases;
♦ Review of applications for water rights;
♦ Monitoring of water abstractions;
♦ Water quality management;
♦ Protection of water resources and catchments management.

In this capacity, the Ministry will:

♦ Incorporate irrigation water requirements in national water resources planning and


development;
♦ Coordinate the establishment of criteria for water allocations and priorities with the
water Resources Board;
♦ Draft and propose legislation to implement the criteria for water allocation and
priority;
♦ Review, improve and update the water resources data base to include inputs on
existing irrigation uses and demands provided by MoAI;
♦ Protect the water rights of irrigation developments when reviewing applications for
water rights;
♦ Protect and promote conservation of catchment areas.

• The Ministry should consider establishment of River Authorities in order to streamline the
conservation and management of water resources under competing users. These authorities
would ensure equitable utilization of water resources based on local, regional, national and
where applicable international needs.

Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs (MoFFEA)

• The Department of Environmental Affairs (EAD) within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries
and Environmental Affairs (MoFFEA) will be responsible for administering environmental

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 19


policy and legislation. It will also manage the process of environmental impact assessment for
new developments.

• It will ensure that agricultural development will be promoted through environmentally sound
crop production, consistent with the principles of sustainable development by including the
relevant strategies and measures necessary for promoting conservation, management and
sustainable utilization of the natural resources. This will include aspects such as,
Environmental Impact Assessment which will be carried out for all new developments and,
where appropriate, for existing projects.

• The Ministry will pay attention to Irrigated agriculture water needs as it implements forestry
and fisheries development projects to ensure that there will be no conflict of interest, especially
in the potential of irrigated agriculture in forest and game reserves.

Ministry of Lands and Valuation

• Land reform and land tenure programmes for irrigation development will be implemented by
the Ministry of Lands and Valuation, MoLV, in close coordination with MoAI and MoWD.
They will utilize the land tenure data base maintained by MoLV, and this will be revised as
necessary to assist the transfer of existing public lands to the beneficiaries, and also in the
identification of areas with potential for irrigation.

National Economic Council

• The National Economic Council will ensure that donor support will coordinate development
cooperation, in terms of national policy guidance and programming, or that aid is in line with
the objectives of irrigation development.

• Government policy is to place increased emphasis on irrigation development, but at the same
time keep subsidies for the programme to a minimum. The National Economic Council
(NEC) is responsible for approving all development projects and no programme is
implemented without this approval. NEC will assess whether the programme or project
complies with the relevant sector and national policies and strategies, as well as laws and
guidelines set out by responsible Ministries. It will also assess whether the public sector
expenditures comply with the Public Sector Investment Programme priorities and allocations.

Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife

• The Ministry will promote conservation of catchment areas in Game Reserves and Parks to
ensure acceptable water quality that can be used for irrigation downstream.

• In any review of the status of protected areas, irrigated agriculture should be included as on of
the options for future development and utilization of such land.

9.4 Other Institutions

National Irrigation Board

• The National Irrigation Board will coordinate irrigation development and management in
accordance with the National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy and the Irrigation
Act.

• The board will approve standards and guidelines for irrigation development and
management.

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 20


• The board will coordinate private sector involvement in irrigation development and
management

• The board will coordinate all donor activities in irrigation development and management

• The board will monitor the progress of irrigation development and management at the
national level

District Irrigation Task Forces

Each district will have a District Irrigation Task Force (DITF) whose mandate is to coordinate
irrigation development at the district level and to ensure that all activities in line with the NIPDS
and the Irrigation Act.

The DITF shall advise the DDC on District Irrigation Development Plans and monitor
implementation.

Water Resources Board

• Water Resources for irrigated agriculture will be developed in accordance with National Water
Laws administered by the Water Resources Board who will enforce them. The Board will
ensure that existing holders of water rights and allocations adhere to the law, and that these
rights are not adversely affected by illegal water abstractions by others. It will cease granting
additional rights to water extractions in those cases where basins are fully developed or areas
where WRB feels that allocations are being exceeded.

• The board will monitor water use and quality in river and ground water basins and protect them
from over exploitation and pollution. In conjunction with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries
and Environmental Affairs (MoFFEA), an information program will be developed to make all
water users aware of the requirements of laws concerning water regulation (water rights).

• The Board will oversee the pricing of water resources for irrigated agriculture, in order to
safeguard against wastage due to underpricing, and at the same time protect farmers against
overpricing by the local organizations and/or developers of water resources.

• The Board will oversee the water quality adherence of the irrigation sub-sector, to ensure that
the quality regulations established in the Water Act are not violated, especially effluent from
irrigated fields and ground water pollution resulting from irrigated fields.

National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage

• A National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (NCID) will be established to provide a


forum for exchange of ideas in irrigation development within Malawi, and also ensure high
standards and quality of work. The National Irrigation Task Force and the Districts Task
Irrigation Task Force will seek membership into the NCID, and so will individuals and
organizations working in the irrigation sub-sector. They will also ensure that the training
programmes are in line with National Demands and Priorities, and that companies and
individuals involved in irrigation development are suitably qualified and registered to ensure
the sustainability and accountability of services provided. This will be the international arm of
irrigation technologies in Malawi and it will seek affiliations with similar international
associations.

Training Institutions

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 21


• Training Institutions should be encouraged to formulate programs that can build and maintain
capacity in the Irrigation Department at all levels; technical, professional and management.

• The curricula of the formal training institutions (NRC, Bunda College, Polytechnic etc) will be
upgraded and improved to meet the demands of the private sector as well as the public sector.
Future undergraduate and post-graduate courses will be based on modular system, allowing
students to respond to the skill demands of the market place. The capacity of these institutions
will be improved through recruitment of additional lectures with irrigation engineering
experience, and also through links with appropriate Regional and International Institutions.
This will cover formal post-graduate, graduate and technical level courses but also short-term
refresher and skill improvement courses.

• In order to ensure a wide based training in irrigation, other institutions like Primary Schools,
Secondary Schools and Vocational schools should include aspects of irrigation in their
curriculum.

• All formal courses will be supplemented by on-the-job training that will take place at DoI and
pilot development sites at ADD, RDP and EPAs. For technicians and engineering/agriculture
graduates, this on-the-job training will form part of the professional development programme,
and will also include attachment to organizations dealing with irrigated agriculture within the
country and abroad.

• All projects in irrigation sub-sectors will include components for training and institutional
building. These will be aimed at strengthening training institutions especially in the University
of Malawi (Polytechnic and Bunda College) as well as providing funds for skill development
and upgrading of staff engaged in irrigation projects.

• In order to prepare the curricula for both the formal and informal courses, a task force
comprising of DoI, crops and Extension Departments of MoAI, Bunda College of Agriculture,
Chancellor College, Ministry of Education and Polytechnic will be established. It will also co-
opt members of private, estate and NGO sectors as well as Chamber of Commerce.

9.5 Women in Irrigated Agriculture

• The smallholder sector has greater participation of women in agricultural activities than men,
as such, irrigated agriculture will have to cater for the interest of women farmers based on
socio-cultural norms of the rural areas. Specifically, the irrigation sub-sector will have to cater
for the following areas:

♦ New technologies for water abstraction and crop processing should be evaluated on
the basis of equal participation by both male and female farmers, this is true in those
technologies that require extensive manual efforts;
♦ Design of irrigation systems in terms of water conveyance channels should take
cognizance of the ability of women to manage and work with such channels and also
avoid the danger of children drowning in such systems;
♦ Local communities should be assessed in their ability to encourage women farmers,
especially, female headed households and the number of female farmers in their local
committees.

• Women in irrigated agriculture will need special consideration in the acquisition of farm
inputs since they are the most vulnerable group in terms of limited resource base and
inadequate credibility to qualify for credit.

9.6 Private Sector

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 22


9.6.1 Consultancies

• The capacity in planning, designing and implementation of irrigation projects in the Private
Sector will be improved in order to provide contractual services to the Department of Irrigation
and the local communities.

• The private sector will become more involved in irrigation activities. To “Kick start” this
process, they will be given greater access to contracts and opportunities for carrying out
studies, surveys and design work that traditionally were done by the Government through the
Department of Irrigation. This will require specific guidelines and standards that will be used
to monitor and evaluate sub-contracted works.

• Short-term consultants (both National and International) will be engaged to carry out the
consultancy work and they will be set clear targets for their assignment and unambiguous
Terms or reference. They will work closely with DoI Staff and will be supervised by the
Controller of Irrigation. Long term Technical Assistance to DoI will be discouraged unless
clear needs are justified.

• All Technical Assistance and short-term consultants will be coordinated by the National
Irrigation Board and will be required to provide inputs against clear achievable targets. The
National Irrigation Board will be required to approve all counterparts, consultants and
contractors (both National and International) and their performance will be reviewed every six
months.

9.6.2 Farming Communities

• Smallholder farmers will form local, regional and national organizations, which will facilitate
initial identification of irrigation schemes, liaise with technical officers in the planning and
design of schemes, and participate in the implementation of schemes. They will be encouraged
to take over greater responsibility for all stages of project development and especially the
operation and maintenance, O&M, of existing schemes/projects and proposed new irrigation
schemes.

• The community shall undertake to meet the finance costs of the O&M of their schemes and
also to re-organize their village operations to enable them to take over greater responsibilities.
To this respect, the Department of Irrigation will initiate modalities for community
organizations through which greater community participation and autonomy will be achieved.

9.6.3 Private Estate and Commercial Farming sub-sector

• The private and commercial estate sector will be encouraged to share their experience with
irrigated agriculture for the benefit of the small holder farming communities. This will include
planning, design and O&M, but also extension, construction and the supply and servicing of
equipment. They will also be required to liaise with the training institutions, to ensure that staff
undergoing training are well equipped to handle the works that they expect to undertake, and
that sufficient graduates and technicians are trained to meet projected demands. Estates will be
encouraged to diversify from traditional estate crops by using irrigation technology so that dry
season crops can be grown to augment rainfed crops.

• As land pressure builds up in Malawi due to rapid population growth, there will be
increasing demand for land and Contract Farming on estates land will be one of the
alternatives to absorb the extra labour and also provide estates with alternative land
management. It is necessary to implement measures that protect the farmer to avoid
exploitation of farmers by estate owners.

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 23


• Estate owners should consider to take on the added responsibility of acting as centers
where the surrounding community can access farm inputs, provide storage and/or processing
facilities of farm produce, and as marketing outlets of farm produce.

• Estates should be considered for special incentives that will encourage them to invest in
irrigated agriculture, aspects of tax incentives and preferential treatment will have to be
explored.

9.6.4 Private sector equipment and spare parts suppliers

• There should be dialogue between the stake holders and the private sector equipment and
spare parts suppliers as well as relevant NGOs, in order to create a conducive environment for
the private sector to get fully involved in irrigated agriculture. They will be encouraged to
increase stocks of new equipment and spare parts and provide training for farmers and
communities who purchase equipment from them.

• There shall be need to establish pricing mechanism of equipment, spare parts and services that
ensures affordability by the smallholder farmers in order to create an attractive gross margin
for the farmers.

9.6.5 Credit and Banking Institutions

• Credit institutions will be encouraged to respond to the needs of small scale irrigation
beneficiaries, by providing affordable credit facilities for agricultural inputs acquisition
through their legal community organizations.
• The Banking institutions will be encouraged to recognize the local community organizations
for purposes of providing credit for capital development using terms that are affordable to the
small scale irrigation communities.

9.7 Non Governmental Organizations

• The government will promote NGO-donor collaboration, and encourage the private sector and
NGOs to provide services, equipment and materials for development of
irrigated agriculture. Their involvement will encompass community level support
including:
♦ Group formation and capacity building;
♦ Demonstration of irrigated agriculture;
♦ Implementation of small scale irrigation projects;
♦ Networking for the transfer of irrigation technology;
♦ Promotion and management of labour saving technologies;
♦ Assist in the distribution of agricultural inputs.

• Government will establish a dialogue with NGOs and create a fovourable environment through
which they will be able to operate effectively through their involvement in irrigated agriculture
programmes. Government will also establish liaison with NGOs to avoid duplication of effort
and to encourage them to participate in the implementation of the national program for
irrigation development.

• The Council for Non Government Organizations in Malawi (CONGOMA), will be encouraged
to support the Pilot Programmes and will encourage greater support to NGOs through
Government and Donor funding. All NGOs embarking in the development of irrigation
projects will have to pass their plans through the Department of Irrigation, to ensure adherence

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 24


to standards and specifications, and their work will be subject to monitoring and evaluation by
the Department.

9.8 Donors

• Donor support for development of irrigation will be directed by the policies and strategies
outlined in this National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy.

• The Government of Malawi will indicate to Donors areas of priority for funding, at the same
time Donors will have to outline their areas of interest in order to harmonize national needs and
Donor preferred areas of support.

• Donors will have to coordinate among themselves support rendered to the Irrigation Sub-
sector, and to this effect there will be need to elect a coordinator for purposes of irrigation
funding in Malawi.

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 25


1.0 ACTION: IDENTIFY AREAS WITH IRRIGATION POTENTIAL
Activity Sub activities Reminders Time Responsibility
Frame
1.1 Water resources study, including • Develop ToRs Two different studies for surface and
groundwater • Recruitment of Consultants ground water hort
DoI
• Review existing studies and data term
• Implementation of the study
• Supervision
1.2 Study/review on economics of • Develop ToRs • Economic/Financial analysis of Short term H
irrigation and water use • Recruitment of Consultants different technologies including DoI
• Review existing studies and data crops
• Implementation of the study • Opportunity cost of water
• Supervision utilisation
1.3 Study of social issues • Develop ToRs • Land tenure system Short term H
• Recruitment of Consultants • Water distribution mechanism DoI
• Review existing studies and data
• Implementation of the study
• Supervision
1.4 Land Resources & Environmental • Develop ToRs • Different maps for soils and land Short term H
issues • Digitize data on soils use DoI
• Recruitment of Consultants
• Review existing studies and data
• Implementation of the study
• Supervision
1.5 Preparation of Irrigability map • Develop ToRs • Irrigability in terms of land Short term H
• Recruitment of Consultants suitability water availability and DoI
• Review existing studies and data farmer willingness
• Supervision
1.6 Prioritization of areas to be • Development of criteria for prioritization • Prioritize into high medium and Short term DITF
developed • Meetings low

Note: All the studies should include both desk and field studies.

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 25


2.0 ACTION: BUILD CAPACITY

2.1 DoI
Activity Sub Activities Reminders Time Frame Responsibility
2.1.1 Rationalization of DoI • Establish inventory of Short Term
assets Plant & vehicle DoI, ADDs
Office equipment
Buildings
irrigation equipment
Survey equipment
Library (books)
Workshop equipment
Furniture
• Assess the inventory Short Term
• Develop programme for rationalization Long Term
2.1.2 Human resources • Assess current staff qualification and training Incl training Short term
development & • Conduct technical training needs assessment programme in: Short term DoI & ADDs
management programme • Conduct management training needs assessment • procurement, Short term
• Conduct staff training in Environmental assessment • financial Medium Term
• Develop a rewarding system for staff management & Short term
accounting Short term
• Review irrigation dept. establishment at Hq, ADD,RDP & EPA
• organization & On going
• Develop a training programme
• Institute training programme management
• Develop a programme for filling posts
• Develop a staff appraisal system & update job descriptions
• Staff attachment
• Formulate on going training programme
2.1.3 Strengthening of • Assess current M&E guidelines
management system • Improve M&E guidelines
• Develop management guidelines
• Training Short term
• Implementation of M&E Long term

2.1.4 Preparation of technical Create guidelines for Priority on


standards, guidelines and • Procedures for farmer participation extension messages
extension material (incl. • Design standards for irrigation systems, small dams
EIA, designs etc) • O&M manuals for sprinkler system, pumps,furrow systems, open
Medium Term DoI
wells, boreholes, basin irrigation, drip irrigation, EIA

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 26


• Tendering and contracting
• Development of technical messages on Water management, Crop
husbandry under irrigation, soil & water relationships
2.1.5 Cooperation & liason in • Formalize NCID, DITF, NITF On going DoI
irrigation development
• Participate in ICID symposia On going
• Organise meetings and conferences On going

• Strengthen linkage with other institutions & departments On going


2.1.6 Policy & Investment • Finalise policy and investment plans Short term DoI
planning
• Review Policy and investment plans Medium Term
• Finalise irrigation act
Short term
• Review irrigation act
Long term
• Prepare Irrigation Regulations

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 27


2.2 Institutions
Activity Sub Activities Reminders Time Frame Responsibility
• Develop curricula for primary schools, secondary
2.2.1 Curricula development in irrigation schools & colleges Medium term DoI

• Assess facilities at Bunda


2.2.2 Development of BSc programme at • Assess capacity of Bunda Short term
Bunda College • Develop BSc training programme DoI
• Provide support (staff… library)
• Provide training to staff
2.2.3 Development of post graduate • Assess facilities at Bunda
programmes in irrigation @ Bunda • Assess capacity of Bunda DoI
College • Develop BSc training programme Long term
• Provide support (staff… library)
• Provide training to staff
• Assess facilities at NRC
2.2.4 Development of diploma & • Assess capacity of NRC DoI
certificate programmes at NRC • Develop Diploma/certificate planning programme Medium Term
• Provide support (staff, library)
• Provide training to staff
• Formalize NCID
2.2.5 Support NCID • Provide NCID secretariat; staff, equipment, transport Short term DoI
• Provide support to NCID; Short term
Meetings
Conferences
• Review the mandate of existing NITF roles &
2.2.6 Support NITF responsibilities composition DoI
• Provide support to NITF; On going
Meetings
Secretariat, equipment
Facilities
2.2.7 Support DITF • Formalize DITF Short term
• Review the mandate, roles & responsibilities DoI
Composition of DITF On going
• Provide support to DITF
• Meetings, secretariat, facilities

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 28


3.0 ACTION: DEVELOP IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE SCHEMES

3.1 Scheme Development

Activity Sub Activities Reminder Time Frame Responsibility


• strengthening DITF
3.1.1 District Irrigation Planning • Conduct planning & budgeting meeting Short term DoI
• Identify capacity of contractors and consultants
• Management of data base
3.1.2 Identification of sites & technologies • conduct PRA on sites On going ADD
• conduct PRA debriefing
• facilitating action plan formulation & execution
3.1.3 Organization & strengthening of • Facilitate formation of farmer organisation On going RDP/EPA
farmers groups • Conduct training on farmer organisation RDP/EPA
• Conduct followup visit ADD/RDP/EPA
• Carry out exchange visit ADD
3.1.4 Environmental impact assessment • Conduct environmental assessment On going RDP

3.1.5 Socio-economic assessment • Conduct socio –economic assessment On going ADD


• Conduct training in socio-economic assessment

3.1.6 Planning , survey & design on going ADD

3.1.7 Construction on going RDP/ADD

3.1.8 Preparation of O&M manual on going ADD

3.1.9 Training of farmers • Farmer Training programme on going ADD


• Training farmers
3.1.10 Monitoring & Evaluation • annual budget meeting on going ADD
• Quarterly progress review
• Field supervisory visits
• Data collection (training)
• Data analysis
• Review monitoring and evaluation systems

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 29


National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 30
3.2 Transfer Ownership & Management of Existing Government Schemes

Activity Sub - Activities Reminder Time Frame Responsibi


lity
3.2.1 Review plans for existing schemes with farmers Conduct awareness meetings EPA
Medium term ADD
3.2.2 Preparation of guidelines for hand-over Short term DoI

3.2.3 Environmental assessment • Conduct environmental assessment Medium term ADD

3.2.4 Economic assessment • Conduct socio –economic assessment Medium term ADD
• Conduct training in socio-economic
assessment

3.2.5 Social assessment • Conduct socio –economic assessment Medium term ADD
• Conduct training in socio-economic
assessment
3.2.6 Preparation of O&M Manual on going ADD

3.2.7 Strengthen farmers organisations Medium term ADD

3.2.8 Rehabilitation Medium term ADD

3.2.9 Training of Farmers • Farmer Training programme on going ADD


• Training farmers
3.2.10 Hand over M DoI
edium
term
3.2.11 Monitoring and Evaluation • annual budget meeting Medium term ADD
• Quarterly progress review
• Field supervisory visits
• Data collection (training)
• Data analysis

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 31


3.3 Rehabilitate and Construct Earth Dams

Activity Sub - Activities Reminder Time Frame Responsibility


3.3.1 Develop guidelines for farmer participation % government Short term DoI
support

3.3.2 Identification of sites • conduct PRA on sites On going ADD


• conduct PRA debriefing
• facilitating action plan
formulation & execution
3.3.3 Environmental assessment • Conduct environmental Short term ADD
assessment
3.3.4 Social assessment • Conduct socio –economic Short term ADD
assessment
• Conduct training in socio-
economic assessment

3.3.5 Preparation of O&M manual Short term ADD

3.3.6 Organization & strengthening of farmers groups • Facilitate formation of On going ADD
farmer organisation
• Conduct training on farmer
organisation
• Conduct followup visit
• Carry out exchange visit
3.3.7 Planning, Survey & design Short term ADD

3.3.8 Rehabilitation/Construction Short term ADD

3.3.9 Training of Farmers • Farmer Training programme on going ADD


• Training farmers
3.3.10 Commissioning of new dams Short term DoI

3.3.11 Preparation of guidelines for handover Short term ADD

3.3.12 Handover of rehabilitated dams Short term DoI

3.3.13 Monitoring & Evaluation Short term ADD

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 32


3.4 Financing of Irrigation Development

Activities Sub - Activities Reminder Time Responsibil


Fram ity
e

3.4.1 Review of present scheme financing arrangements Short term DoI

3.4.2 Preparation of financing guidelines Short term DoI

3.4.3 Identify mechanisms for access to credit Private sector may take role – Medium Term DoI
collaborative

3.4.4 Organize & strengthen rural credit facilities Private sector may take role –
collaborative Long term DoI

4.0 Action: IMPROVE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN IRRIGATION DEVELOPMENT

Activities Sub - Activities Reminders Time Responsibility


Frame
Study to identify problems facing women • Develop ToRs • Social financial Short term DoI
4.1 in irrigation development • Engage consultants problems Hqs
• Carry out the study
• Supervision
• Training needs assessment • ADD/DoI Short term ADD
4.2 Training in gender issues • Training programme development
• Training
4.3 Extension targeted to women • Review of irrigation messages Long term/on ADD
• Develop appropriate messages going
• Disseminate messages
Activities will depend on
4.4 Support to women’s organisations the outcome of the study On going ADD
(4.1)
4.5 Introduction of labour saving • Conduct PRA On going ADD
technologies • Action plan to be developed
National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 33
5.0 Action: DEVELOP NEW TECHNOLOGIES

Activities Sub - Activities Remi Time Frame Responsibility


nders
5.1 Research needs assessment • Conduct a survey Short to medium DoI
• Conduct a workshop to discuss survey findings term
• Review past research
5.2 Research & Development Programme • Formulation of a research programme Short to medium DoI
formulated • Develop research proposals term
ADD
5.3 Development & adaptive testing of • Develop appropriate technology On going DoI – Hqs
appropriate low cost technology • Adapt appropriate technology ADDs

5.4 Dissemination of results to farmers & staff • Conduct demonstrations On going ADD
• Conduct field days ADD
• Conduct workshops DoI/ADD
• Produce research bulletins DoI/ADD
• Conduct staff training DoI/ADD
ADD
• Conduct farmer training
ADD
• Produce technical messages

6.0 Action: IMPROVE MARKETING

Activities Sub – Activities Reminders Time Frame Responsibility


6.1 Conduct marketing • Develop ToRs • Visit cooperatives Short term DoI
Studies • Engage consultant • Identify market outlets for produce
• Undertake Study • Access transportation problems
• Supervision • Access storage processing and refrigeration facilities
• Access regional market outlets
• Access marketing of crops

6.2 Act as catalyst in • Facilitate in providing advisory On going ADD


marketing services in marketing
• Facilitate introduction of low cost
storage and processing facilities On going ADD

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 34


6.3 Training of farmers • Conduct training needs Short term ADD
& staff in marketing assessment On going ADD
of various crops • Conduct study tours Short term ADD
• Prepare training programme On going ADD
• Conduct training

7.0 Action: STRENGTHEN FARMER ORGANISATIONS

Activities Sub - Activities Reminders Time Frame Responsibility

7.1 Identification of farmer organizations Conduct a nationwide survey Short term DoI/ADD

Short term DoI


7.2 Review legal economic & management • ToRs for review Dissemination
aspects of farmer organizations • Recruit consultants
• Study
• Supervision

7.3 Assist communities in formulation and • Preparation of guidelines for farmer Above two studies Long term DoI
strengthening of farmer organizations organizations to be a basis for this
• Training of farmer organizations On going ADD
• Collaborate with other organizations

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 35


8.0 Action: IMPROVE PARTICIPATION OF PRIVATE SECTOR

Activities Sub - Activities Reminders Time Frame Responsibility

8.1 Review private sector involvement in irrigated agriculture DoI


and identify areas of potential involvement Medium term DoI
DoI

8.2 Coordinate with other government departments and the • Coordinate with other Govt. Depts on issues of 0n going DoI
private sector. private sector involvement

• Coordinate with private sector on issues of 0ngoing DoI


irrigation development

8.3 Training of private sector • Conduct training needs assessment of private Coordinate Short term DoI
sector with DoI
• Formulate training programme training Short-term DoI
• Implementation of training programme ongoing DoI
8.4 Private Sector participation in the NCID/ICID/NITF 0ngoing DoI

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 36


9.0 Action: SUPPORT TRADITIONAL IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE

Activities Sub - Activities Reminders Time Responsibility


Frame

9.1 Survey & Assessment of • Develop ToR • The consultant should work closely with the ADD staff. Short term DoI
traditional irrigation sector • Recruit consultant • FA to identify areas within his/her section. DoI
• Compile data • FA to assess the problems and need for assistance Implementation
• Supervision = ADD
Data Collection
= ADD

9.2 Development of Programme for • Programme to be developed with respect to the “needs”/ Short term DoI /DITF
assistance to traditional “problems” in 9.1
irrigation sector • DITF to have an input

9.3 Assistance to traditional • Sub-activities will be On going ADD


irrigation sector determined by 9.2

National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 37


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1

PRELIMINARY

SECTION
1. short title and commencement
2. Interpretation

PART II
ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH PROTECTION
3. Application of the Environment Management Act
4. Protection of dambo and irrigated areas
5. Environmental impact assessment

PART III
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE
6. Establishment of National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
7. Mandatory registration with the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
8. Discretionary registration with the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

PART IV

NATIONAL IRRIGATION BOARD

9. National Irrigation Board


10. Functions of National Irrigation Board
11. Composition of Board

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PART V
FINANCE - CREDIT SCHEMES
12. Power of farmers' organisations to form farmers' banks
13. Registration and operation of a farmers' bank
14. Power of farmers'organisations to borrow
15. Contract farming

PART VI
FINANCE - INCENTIVES TO FARMERS
16. Power of Minister to provide incentives
17. Duty of Minister to provide training
PART VII
FINANCE - COST RECOVERY AND COST SHARING
18. Farmers' contribution to investment costs
19. Cost of acts of rectification

PART VIII
OFFENCES
20. Wilful damage or failure to maintain irrigation canals
21. Acts and practices destructive to catchment area
22. Setting or permitting fire
23. Grazing livestock
24. Applying prohibited chemicals and substances
25. Failure by Contractor, Consultant or Supplier of irrigation equipment to register with the National
Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
PART IX

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - FORMATION OF FARMERS' ORGANISATIONS


26. Formation of farmers' organisations
27. Power of farmers' organisation to hold land and water right

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National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 38


28. Power of farmers' organisation to employ

PART X
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - TRANSFER OF GOVERNMENT
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION SCHEMES

29. Power of Minister responsible for land matters to transfer land occupied by a Government
irrigation scheme
30. Completion of transfer
31. Prohibition against compulsory acquisition
32. Transfer of scheme property
33. Evidence of hand - over
34. Rehabilitation before hand - over
35. Power of Minister to monitor user of scheme land

PART XI
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - GRANT OF TITLE TO CUSTOMARY
LAND OCCUPIED BY SELF - HELP IRRIGATION SCHEMES
36. Power of Minister responsible for Land Matters to grant lease of customary land or to record the
farmers as the owners
PART XII
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - MANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATION SCHEMES

37. Composition of Scheme Management Committee


38. Election of Scheme Management Committee
39. Power of a farmers' organisation to co - opt persons into Scheme Management Committee
40. Qualification for membership to Scheme Management Committee
Responsibility for operation and maintenance of smallholder irrigation schemes

PART XIII
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - ROLE OF MINISTER
42. Role of Minister

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PART XIV
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - TENURE OF PLOTS

43. Responsibility for allocation of plots


44. Criterion on allocation of plots
45. Person in whose name plot to be registered
46. Discretion of Scheme Management Committee on allocation of plot
47. Tenure of holding
48. Power of Scheme Management Committee to withdraw plot
49. Appeal against withdrawal of plot
50. Surrender of plot
51. Compensation for improvements on surrender of plot
52. Disqualification of a registered plot holder and how succeeded
53. Discretion of Scheme Management Committee to accept or reject successor
PART XV
SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS

54. Keeping of Books of accounts


55. Annual Report
56. Laying of Annual Report before general meeting
57. Power of farmers to inspect books of accounts

PART XVI
MISCELLANEOUS
58. Regulations

PART XVII
SAVINGS
Savings of previous subsidiary legislation on irrigation

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A BILL

entitled

IRRIGATION

An Act to make provision relating to the development and management of irrigation, protection of the
environment from irrigation related degradations, the establishment of the National Commission on
Irrigation and Drainage, the establishment of the National Irrigation Board, irrigation schemes, farmers'
organisations and for other purposes incidental to irrigation.

ENACTED by the Parliament of Malawi as follows:-

PART 1-

PRELIMINARY

SECTION

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National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 41


Short 1. This Act may be cited as the Irrigation Act, and shall

title come into force on such date as the Minister shall, by

and notice published in the Gazette, appoint

commencement

Interpretation

2. In this Act unless the context otherwise requires

"Commercial irrigation farmer" means a farmer who by means of irrigation grows crops

primarily for sale

"Existing Government smallholder irrigation scheme" means a smallholder irrigation

scheme which at the time of the coming into effect of this Act is owned by the

Government and is specified in the First Schedule

"Existing self - help smallholder irrigation scheme" means a self - help smallholder

irrigation scheme initiated and owned by the farmers on customary land existing at the

time of the coming into effect of this Act

Cap.63:03 "Farmer" has the same meaning as that ascribed thereto in the Farmers' Stop Order Act

"Irrigation" means application of water confined in time and space, enabling satisfaction

of water requirements of a crop at a given time of its vegetative cycle or to bring the soil

to the desired moisture level outside the vegetative cycle and, in the case of a field,

includes one or more watering per season

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"Irrigation scheme" means a systematic and orderly irrigation programme covering a

defined area of land regardless of the type or system of irrigation employed

"large scale irrigation" means irrigation which is of a large scale, extensive or of a wide

scope or great extent including estates and which falls within the hectarage specified by

the Minister under section 5 as large scale irrigation

"Medium scale irrigation" means irrigation which is of an intermediate or middle state or

degree in size which is larger than small scale irrigation but smaller than large scale

irrigation in size, investment and income yield and which falls within the hectarage

specified by the Minister under section 5 as medium scale irrigation

"Minister " means the Minister responsible for irrigation services

"New smallholder irrigation scheme" means any previously Government owned

smallholder irrigation scheme transferred to smallholder irrigation farmers of the scheme

pursuant to section 49 and any self - help smallholder irrigation scheme established after

the coming into effect of this Act

"Smallholder irrigation farmer" means a farmer engaged in irrigation farming on a small

holding of agricultural land which is smaller than a farm and which is worked by only

himself or with members of his family

"Small scale irrigation" means irrigation which is comparatively small in size with

relatively little investment and yielding some income

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PART II

ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH PROTECTION

Act No. 3 For the purposes of this part, the

23 of 1996 provisions of the Environment Management Act shall apply mutatis mutandis

4 Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the Minister shall-

(a) control the grazing of livestock in dambo areas and river banks of

rivers supplying water to an irrigation scheme

(b) prohibit the use of such chemicals and substances as he may specify

on any land under irrigation farming

(c) carry out such other activities and take such other measures with

regard to irrigation as may be necessary or expedient for the better

protection of the environment and human health

5 The Minister shall by notice published in the Gazette specify in hectares what amounts

to a medium scale and large scale irrigation scheme, respectively, and every medium

scale irrigation and large scale irrigation scheme shall be subject to environmental

impact assessment at the time of implementation of the irrigation project and to such

environmental audit as may from time to time be required by the Minister

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PART III

NATIONAL COMMISSION ON IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE

6 There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the National Commission on

Irrigation and Drainage which shall regulate its own affairs

7. It shall be the duty of every irrigation contractor, irrigation consultant, and supplier of

irrigation services to register with the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

8. Organisations of irrigation farmers, individual farmers including other stakeholders may,

at their discretion, register with the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

PART IV

NATIONAL IRRIGATION BOARD

National 9. There is hereby established a Board, to be known as

Irrigation the National Irrigation Board as a high level body

Board charged with the duty of controlling and co-ordinating at national level the development

and management of irrigation activities which shall, subject to any special or general

directions of the Minister, exercise such powers and perform such duties as are

conferred or imposed on it by this Act, or as the Minister may, from time to time by

writing under his hand, delegate to it

Functions 10. The functions of the National Irriation Board shall be to

of National

Irrigation Board

a) Coordinate irrigation development and management in Malawi

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National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 45


b) ensure that all irrigation activities are conducted in a manner that complies with

the National Irrigation Policy and Development strategy and this Act

c) approve standards and guidelines for irrigation development and management

d) coordinate private sector involvement in irrigation development and

management

e) coordiante all donor activities in irrigation development and management

f) monitor progress of irrigation development and management at national level

g) act as a form for information sharing

Composition 11. membership of the Board shall be comprised as

of Board follows

a) a representative of the Department of Irrigation

b) a representative of the National Water Resources Board

c) a representative of the Ministry of Environmental Affairs

d) a representative of the Ministry of Lands & Valuation

e) a representative of the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage

f) A Programme Manager representing Agricultural Development Programmes

g) a representative of the land resource sector

h) a representative of the Malawi Investment Promotion Agency (MIPA)

i) a representative of the Malawi Chamber of Commerce

j) a representative of non-governmental organisations in Malawi; and the

following

co- opted members:

k) a representative of the Malawi Government from Agricultural Extension

Services

l) a representative of the National Economic Council

m) a representative of the Ministry of Water Development; and

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National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 46


n) a representative of the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation

(ADMARC)

PART V

FINANCE - CREDIT SCHEMES

Cap.44:01 12. Subject to the Banking Act and any regulations thereunder, farmers who are members

of a farmers' organisation may, as an organisation, form a farmers bank which shall be

open to all farmers regardless of membership to the organisation

13. A farmers bank so formed shall be registered and operate under the Banking Act with

such modifications, variations or exceptions to suit the farmers as the Minister

responsible for banking may in his discretion direct

14 A farmers' organisation shall have power to borrow from Commercial banks and other

financial or lending institutions and, where required, pledge, hypothecate, mortgage,

charge or otherwise offer any of its property, movable or immovable, as security for

repayment of any borrowing obtained

15 It shall be lawful for any commercial irrigation farmer, non - governmental organisation

engaged in irrigation, and smallholder irrigation scheme to enter into contract farming

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National Irrigation Policy and Development Strategy 1998 Page 47


with any irrigation scheme, club association or other organisation of farmers and provide

the irrigation scheme or, as the case may be, club association or other organisation of

farmers with expertise, inputs or machinery services on a free or fee basis, and if on fee

basis on loan or cash basis

PART VI

FINANCE - INCENTIVES TO FARMERS

16. The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Finance, shall determine-

(a) such fiscal incentives as may be necessary for the promotion of irrigation

farming

(b) such measures as may be necessary for preventing the failure or non - viability

of irrigation farming

17. Notwithstanding section 16, the Minister shall, from time to time, provide technical

personnel to facilitate the training of irrigation farmers in modern methods of land

husbandry, crop production, marketing, water management and agro - processing

PART VII

FINANCE - COST RECOVERY AND COST SHARING

18. Farmers shall contribute in cash or in kind to investment costs in proportions specified in

the regulations

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19. Any act of rectification required by the Minister, the Minister responsible for water

development or the Minister responsible for environment management to be done in

respect of a public watercourse commonly used for irrigation shall be done by all users

of the public watercourse, including smallholder irrigation farmers, commercial

irrigation farmers, and clubs associations or other organisations of farmers and the cost

thereof shared equitably by all the users

PART VIII

OFFENCES

20. Any person who wilfully damages or fails to maintain irrigation canals shall be guilty of

an offence

21. Any person who-

(a) engages in practices which are destructive or potentially destructive to the

catchment area of a river or public water course supplying water to an

irrigation scheme

(b) grazes or permits livestock to graze in dambo areas under irrigation otherwise

than as prescribed by the Minister

shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than

K...........and not more than K...........and to imprisonment for ........... years

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22. Any person who

a) sets or causes to be set on fire crops on an irrigation scheme or on any

irrigated farm, garden or plot, or

b) without reasonable cause refuses to assist in averting, fighting or

extinguishing a fire on an irrigation scheme or on any irrigated farm,

garden or plot

shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine of K...... and to

imprisonment for a term of......... years

23 Any person who grazes livestock or permits livestock to encroach upon any irrigation

scheme, irrigated farm, garden or plot on which there is a crop which has not been

harvested or which has been harvested but not removed shall be guilty of an offence and

liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than K...... and to imprisonment of ....... years

in the case where the crop has not been harvested; and to a fine of not less than K..... and

to imprisonment for..... years in the case where crops have been harvested but not

removed

24 Any person who applies or causes to be applied on an irrigation scheme, farm, garden or

plot under irrigation any chemicals or substances prohibited under this Act by the

Minister shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon conviction to a fine of not less than

K.... and to imprisonment for.... years

25. Any contractor, consultant or supplier of irrigation equipment who fails to register

himself with the National Commission on Irrigation and Drainage shall be guilty of an

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offence and liable upon conviction to a fine of K for every day that the default

continues

PART IX

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - FORMATION OF FARMERS' ORGANISATIONS

Cap. 26. Smallholder farmers carrying on irrigation farming 47:02 may form farmers'

organisations

27. A farmers' organisation so formed shall have the power to hold land and a water right

28. A farmers organisation shall have power to employ persons, who need not be members

of the organisation, to manage the affairs of the organisation

PART X

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - TRANSFER OF EXISTING GOVERNMENT

SMALLHOLDER SCHEMES

29. The Minister responsible for land matters shall transfer land occupied by Government

smallholder irrigation schemes to organisations of smallholder irrigation farmers of the

respective irrigation schemes, and in so transferring, the Minister responsible for land

matters may transfer the land as freehold

30. The transfer shall be completed by registration of the farmers' organisation as the

proprietor of the land

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31. Upon the transfer of the land occupied as aforesaid by a Government smallholder

irrigation scheme in accordance with section 29 such land may not thereafter be

compulsorily acquired from the farmers' organisation unless the organisation has itself

agreed to the acquisition

32. Upon the transfer to a farmers' organisation of any land previously occupied by a

Government smallholder irrigation scheme the Minister shall on his part permit any

building, waterworks, equipment, water conveyance system, plant and machinery on

such land which previously belonged to Government to be transferred together with the

land for or without a consideration

33 The hand - over of a smallholder irrigation scheme which was previously owned by the

Government shall be witnessed by a Memorandum of understanding signed by the

Minister of the one part and the farmers of the scheme of the other part represented by a

Principal Officer of the farmers organisation

34 Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing, the Minister shall rehabilitate the fixtures

and buildings appurtenant to the land previously occupied by a Government smallholder

irrigation scheme, including any equipment, plant and machinery used thereon and any

existing waterworks and water conveyance system before the transfer takes effect

35. The Minister shall have power to monitor the management and user of the land

previously occupied by a Government smallholder irrigation scheme to ensure the

smooth running of the scheme by the farmers

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PART XI

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - GRANT OF TITLE TO CUSTOMARY

LAND OCCUPIED BY SELF - HELP IRRIGATION SCHEMES

36. The Minister responsible for land matters may upon application by the smallholder

irrigation farmers of an existing self - help irrigation scheme or a new irrigation scheme

on customary land grant, under the

Cap. 57:01 Land Act, a Lease of the customary land to the farmers through an organisation of the

farmers or may

Cap. 59:01 apply to such land Customary Land (Development) Act and register the land under the

Cap. 58;01 Registered Land Act as private land owned by the farmers as owners in common

PART XII

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - MANAGEMENT OF IRRIGATION SCHEMES

37. The composition of the Scheme Management committee for each irrigation scheme shall

be discretionary upon the farmers of the scheme provided however that the farmers shall

always ensure that there is a fair representation of female farmers on the scheme

Management Committee

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38. In electing the Scheme Management Committee of any irrigation scheme, the farmers

on the scheme shall ensure that the elections are conducted in a free, fair and democratic

manner and on its part, once elected, the Scheme Management Committee shall at all

times observe transparency and accountability in its management of the affairs of the

scheme

39. A farmers' organisation may, in addition to the persons elected by the farmers to the

Scheme Management Committee co - opt into the committee non - voting members of

particular skill or knowledge from outside the scheme on a hired basis or as salaried

personnel employed by the farmers' organisation and in either case paid by the

organisation

40. It shall be a requirement that voting members of the scheme management committee be

members of the farmers' organisation or that they be farmers on the scheme

41. Except for existing Government irrigation schemes and for so long as they are not

transferred to the farmers on the scheme, all the schemes shall be operated and the

infrastructure thereon including plant, equipment and machinery, managed and

maintained by the farmers themselves

PART XIII

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - ROLE OF MINISTER

42. The role of the Minister shall be to

(a) Monitor and supervise the user of smallholder irrigation schemes

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(b) Facilitate the smooth and effective operation of irrigation farming

(c) Advise irrigation farmers on modern farming methods, appropriate technology,

water management, crop production, marketing and agro - processing

(d) Provide training to farmers and in particular smallholder farmers on irrigation

schemes and smallholder dambo and dimba farmers

PART XIV

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - TENURE OF PLOTS

43. The main committee of every farmers' organisation shall be responsible for the

allocation of plots on an irrigation scheme

44. The main committee of a farmers' organisation shall allocate plots having regard only to

the residence of the farmer but regardless of the farmer's sex or his or her membership or

non - membership of the organisation

45. A plot shall be registered in the name of the head of a household upon whom the plot

has been allocated regardless of whether the head of the household is male or female to

hold on trust for the benefit of himself or herself and members of his or her family

46. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 45, if circumstances so require, the main

committee of a farmers' organisation may allocate a plot in the name of a person who is

not head of the household regardless of whether such person is male or female

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47. A plot shall be held in the name of a registered holder for a period of not less than 10

years subject to proper utilisation thereof

48. In the event that the main committee be, at any time, of the view that a plot is not being

properly utilised it may withdraw the same notwithstanding that 10 years have not

elapsed since it was allocated, provided that before doing so it shall notify the holder in

writing of the reason for the intended withdrawal and grant him or her and members of

his or her family the opportunity to be heard on the matter to show cause why the plot

should not be withdrawn

49. If aggrieved by the decision of the main committee after being heard as provided in

section 48, the registered plot holder and members of his or, as the case may be, her

family may appeal to the Minister and such appeal shall act as a stay on the decision of

the main Committee which shall not be implemented until final determination of the

matter by the Minister

50. A registered plot holder may surrender his or her plot to the main committee of the

farmers' organisation upon prior notification in writing of his or her intention to the said

Committee

51. If a registered holder surrenders his or her plot in accordance with section 50, he or she

shall be entitled to receive from the new allocatee such compensation in respect of any

improvements effected by him or her upon the plot during the time of his or her tenure

as the main committee of the farmers' organisation may determine as reasonable

52. (1) Where a registered holder of a plot-

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(a) dies

(b) becomes of unsound mind

(c) is convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of

imprisonment exceeding 6 months

the next-of-kin of that registered holder as chosen by a majority of members of his or her

household shall become the registered holder and all rights, interest and liabilities of the

registered holder shall vest in the next-of-kin:

(2) Provided that a next -of-Kin shall not become a registered holder unless-

(a) he or she is of sound mind

(b) he or she is of an age acceptable to the main committee of the farmers'

organisation

(c) he or she undertakes to account for the welfare of the immediate

family and dependants of his or her predecessor

53. The Main Committee of a farmers' organisation shall have the discretion to accept or

reject the person proposed by a household to succeed a registered holder who has

become disqualified under section 52(1), provided however that the successor shall

always be a member of the household of the disqualified registered holder

PART XV

SMALLHOLDER IRRIGATION - FUNDS AND ACCOUNTS

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54. Every Main Committee of a farmers' organisation, and management committee of a non

- governmental organisation engaged in irrigation shall cause to be kept proper books

and other records of account in respect of receipts and expenditures of the farmers'

organisation or, as the case may be, non - governmental organisation.

55. The Committees referred to in section 54 shall cause to be prepared, as soon as

practicable, and in any event not later than six months after the end of the financial year,

an annual report on all the financial transactions of the farmers' organisation or, as the

case may be, non - governmental organisation.

56. The report referred to in section 55 shall be prepared by the Treasurer of the farmers'

organisation and shall comprise of a balance sheet and an income and expenditure

account which shall both be laid by the Treasurer before the general meeting of the

farmers organisation or, as the case may be, non - governmental organisation

57. Any person being a member of a farmers' organisation or, as the case may be, non -

governmental organisation engaged in irrigation may by notice in writing to the

Secretary of the main committee of the organisation to which he belongs inspect books

of accounts and all documents relating to the income and expenditure of the farmers'

organisation or, as the case may be, the non - governmental organisation.

PART XVI

MISCELLANEOUS

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58. The Minster may, by notice published in the Gazette, make regulations for the better

carrying into effect of this Act

PART XVII

SAVINGS

59. Any subsidiary legislation made under any Act in respect of irrigation matters in force

immediately prior to the commencement of this Act-

(a) shall, unless in conflict with this Act, continue in force and be deemed

to be subsidiary legislation made under this Act;

(b) may be replaced, amended or repealed by subsidiary legislation made

under this Act.

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