By Feston Malekezo:
At least 44,090 smallholder farmers in Nkhata Bay District are expected to benefit from a project aimed at enhancing productivity through technology.
The project, dubbed Better Extension Training Transforming Economic Returns (Better), is being implemented by a consortium of agricultural organisat ions. These include Self Help Africa, Action Aid, Evangelical Association of Malawi, Adventist Relief and Development Agency and Plan Malawi.
The project is being run in 10 districts of the country and these include Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba, Nkhata-Bay, Kasungu, Nkhotakota, Salima, Chiradzulu, Thyolo and Mulanje.
One of the beneficiaries, Musatero Chirwa, said the project had proven effective.
“Climate change has always been a challenge. When we experience poor rainfall, we are being told to use methods such as conservation agriculture which works.
“Apart from that, we are told to plant crops such as cassava and sweet potato which do not require heavy rainfall,” Chirwa said.
ActionAid Project Coordinator, Greshian Kamnyamata, said results of a recent study conducted in two districts of Chiradzulu and Nkhata Bay showed that most farmers were not accessing extension services.
“What excites us most is that the farmers are able to explain even the scientific methodologies they are using when cultivating.
“The farmers are also able to explain what happens to the crop at every stage. We are very impressed,” he said.
The implementing organisations also partnered the government through district agriculture development offices in providing technical support.