CEJ urges government to discourage flood irrigation in sugar plantations

• Flood irrigation is discouraged across the world because of excessive loss of water.
• Sugar companies must explore eco- friendly methods.
• Stakeholders must dialogue and research more on eco-friendly irrigation systems particularly in the Kafue water basin.

Centre for Environment Justice (CEJ) has called for increased investment in research for the adoption of more efficient irrigation systems and water management practices.
Centre Head of Programs Ricky Kalaluka also urged Government to discourage flood irrigation in the country’s sugar plantations in order to save rivers.
Mr. Kalaluka said flood irrigation is discouraged across the world because of excessive loss of water through evaporation, infiltration, and runoff, therefore sugar companies must explore eco- friendly methods such as the Subsurface Drip Irrigation systems as opposed to on surface systems.
He commended Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) for making a similar observation during the Agric Expo in Chisamba last week on the unsustainability of flood irrigation in sugar plantations.
“Centre for Environment Justice welcomes the decision by WARMA to discourage flood irrigation particularly in the sugar sector and we are calling for stakeholders to dialogue and research more on eco-friendly irrigation systems particularly in the Kafue water basin where we have got more investments that have come in terms of sugar irrigation systems,” Mr. Kalaluka said.
Mr. Kalaluka noted that Government has made serious commitments to climate change issues which calls for reviewing methods of growing sugar especially along the Kafue River which feeds many towns and the ecosystem.

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