Alliance One Tobacco Limited has handed over an earth dam worth over K25 million to smallholder tobacco growers in Dowa, in a move that will help the crop’s growers in the central region’s district produce more high quality tobacco.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at Kabanga village in Traditional Authority Dzoole, Alliance One Malawi Limited Leaf Production Director Ronald Ngwira said the dam would cater for over 52
tobacco farmers clubs in the district.
“This project will enable farmers to sow tobacco seeds in the nurseries at an appropriate time since they will have no problems with water for this exercise. We would want to see into it that they should not only use the dam for tobacco farming only, but also for irrigating other crops.
“By the end of this year, we are going to have earth dams in five sites which will have the capacity of over 35,000 cubic millimeters of water,” said Ngwira.
He added that Malawi has a potential of having abundant food all year round due to the availability of ground water.
“If we utilize this, we will enable our farmers to be economically better since the money realized from tobacco sales on the basic needs other than buying maize for food. What is more important is that, this cordial relationship between government, Alliance One and the farmers should continue.” he said.
The project is being done with the assistance from the Phillip Morris International, which are the largest tobacco buyers in the world.
Chairman for Alinafe farmes club Eliya Kaphamtengo said the earth dam has come at the right time when a lot of farmers were facing numerous problems when sowing their tobacco seeds as the exercise is done during dry season when water is water scarce.
“We were walking about 5-6 kilometers to access water, sometimes we could even rent a well from other people just to water our seeds. I hope that with this dam, even those who stopped growing tobacco will now join us and start cultivating this crop again.
“We are also very lucky because apart from irrigating our tobacco seedlings, we will also be involved in the irrigation farming of other crops such as maize. We will be using the same dam to irrigate these other crops, a development that will improve food security in our families all year round,” he said.
The earth dam will help farmers from Traditional Authority Dzoole and Chakhaza the district.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :