One of Malawi major tobacco firms, Alliance One Tobacco (Malawi ) Limited has awarded walking tractors to famers club for their best performance during the last tobacco growing season as one way of appreciating the famer’s contribution towards agricultural development in the country.
The five tractors worth K22 million will help farmers to plough their gardens in time, to transport harvest from fields and can also be used to transport patients to nearby health facilities.
Speaking during the handover of the one tractor to Zikutherani Farmers Club in Mchinji on Wednesday, Alliance One Agronomy Services Administrator, and Hetherwick Nkhuzenje said the company recognizes the role farmers play in contributing to economic development of the country through agriculture hence the need to provide machineries to improve agricultural production.
He said farmers spend more time in the field using hoes than using modern tools such as tractors.
“We believe that if farmers need to be empowered by giving them modern equipments so that they harvest more. If farmers are using machineries in their fields they save time and labour at the same time curbing child labour in the tobacco industry” he said.
In an interview chairperson of Zikutherani farmers club Evason Ganizani hailed the company for timely help as farmers are preparing their gardens a head of the growing season.
“We are very delighted that Alliance one has recognized our work in the last tobacco season. It is a morale boost for us as we are preparing for the new growing season; we hope that next season we will be able to harvest more than in the past when we were using hoes” he said.
Zikutherani Farmers club comprises of four farmers but last season they managed to produce 90 bales of high quality tobacco.
The clubs have been selected for producing required volume of tobacco of high quality during the just ended tobacco season.
Using tractors farmers can plough half a hectare in a single day or two while hand hoeing takes about 20 days.