Machinga District agriculture development officer (Dado) Sosten Zulu has commended Challenges Malawi Project for the Rice Seed Multiplication Programme, saying it raises hope for enhanced rice production.
In an interview, the official said the initiative will improve people’s income.
“Machinga has potential to become one of the leading districts in rice production. However, most farmers do not use certified seed, as a result, yields are always minimal,” said Zulu.
He, therefore, urged farmers to use modern ways of farming and embrace mechanisation which government provided such as the corn-weeder to minimise labour costs and maximise profits.
Zulu also commended the Challenges Malawi Project for working with water users associations in the district.
Challenges Malawi Project agriculture manager Hope Ndalama said they are working to help farmers find markets at national and international levels.
“Besides building farmers’ capacity to increase production, we also want to ensure that they are able to negotiate for better prices of their produce,” he said.
Ndalama said the organisation, which will work with the farmers for four years, is currently helping farmers to have their seed certified.
He said: “In our research, we noticed that seed was a great challenge to farmers such that they had to source it from other districts.
“However, with the multiplication programme, more farmers will be growing Kilombero rice which is highly marketable.”
Zumulu Water Users Association member Lester Waya said farmers face challenges of markets.
“However, with the support, we see hope,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nsanama Farmers’ Cooperative will be buying the rice at K500 per kilogramme.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :