Diversify on crops, expert tells Malawi farmers

An agricultural expert has told Malawian farmers to consider crop diversification in view of the El Nino powered weather which is causing drought in the south and heavy rains in the north.

Kachikho and Mudzaona in a maize field...Photo Jeromy Kadewere

A maize field…Photo Jeromy Kadewere

Trevor Mataya, Farm Service National Coordinator for Nasfam said in view of the unpredictable weather patterns, his organization is training 165, 000 farmers on crop diversification to beat the unpredictable weather patterns.

“The climate change is affectively farmers negatively. In some areas, there is total crop failure, this is why we are encouraging crop diversification so that farmers should plant two or more crops.

Mataya said Nasfam is encouraging farmers to grow drought resistant crops like sorghum, millet and cassava in addition to legumes like soya, sun flower and cow peas for cash.

“These crops do well during dry spells, this is why we are encouraging them to grow them as cash crops in addition to the drought resistant food crops,” he said.

President Peter Mutharika declared Malawi a state of national disaster following persistent drought in the south and persistent rains in the north which are causing flooding.

At least eight million people will need food aid this year and Mutharika has said the government is sourcing 1.2 million metric tonnes.

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