By Bishop Witmos, MANA
With the harvesting period for most crops at peak across the country, Chitipa District Council — through Agricultural Sector Wide Approach-Support Project (ASWAP-SP) ll — has rehabilitated most of the crucial roads that connect farmers to rural markets.
Through the project, which is supported by World Bank, the Council has rehabilitated over 10 rural road links for popular village markets of Kapirinkhonde, Ibugulura, Sopelera and Misuku among others — covering 96.4kms.
Speaking on Saturday during a tour to some of the rehabilitated roads, Chitipa’s director of agriculture, environmental and natural resources, Malumbo Nyirongo said the improved access roads will change for the better the livelihoods of many farmers and everyone else in the district.
Nyirongo said over 70 percent of roads that have been rehabilitated were hardly passable during the past two harvesting seasons.
“Poor road network affected agribusiness here,” he said. “I am delighted that most of the roads that have been rehabilitated connect farmers to markets in all our six extension planning areas in the district.”
According to Elijar Zimba, Chitipa’s director of public works program, the project will improve livelihoods of over 20,000 farming households.
“Apart from rehabilitating the rural roads, we also established 10 model villages along the roads. We supported these villages in agriculture diversification for the sustainability of their improved economic status,” he said.
The project, which rolled out in 2017 and is expected to be completed in 2021, is being implemented in 11 other districts.