By Maston Kaiya:
Government of Ireland has committed to continue supporting Social Cash Transfers (SCT) programme.
Deputy Head of Mission for the Irish Embassy, Mark Montgomery made the remarks on Wednesday at Lowe Irrigation Scheme in Ntcheu, which is under Pathways for Strengthened Resilience (P4R) project.
The three hectare Lowe Irrigation Scheme has 57 farming households including those on SCT programme who are engaged in maize, beans, tomatoes and various other crop productions.
He highlighted that his government would conduct a proper research on the programme aimed at deciding on whether to increase both transfer levels and beneficiaries.
“Evidence based on proper research on the programme will direct us in decision making regarding increasing amount as well a number of beneficiaries,” Montgomery said.
Humanitarian Operations and Resilience Manager for Save the Children; Steve Kamtimaleka commended the Irish Embassy for supporting P4R project which involves SCT beneficiaries.
“The goal for P4R is to reduce poverty, deprivation and increase resilience among the poorest and most vulnerable households in Ntcheu district,” he said.
District Irrigation Officer for Ntcheu, Limbani Mzembe urged all members of Lowe Irrigation Scheme to venture into supplemental irrigation to avoid withering of crops during the growing season.
“I urge farmers at Lowe Irrigation Scheme to start planting their crops as soon as the rainy season ends to take advantage of the moisture since the water tanks are not sufficient,” he said.
The P4R project is designed to strengthen resilience among SCT beneficiaries through various interventions that could enhance their capacities to graduate from the programme into self-sufficiency.
SCT programme is a social protection programme run by government that targets ultra-poor and labour constrained households at the bottom of poverty profile for the country, granting them support in form of cash transfers.