In an effort to improve food security in the country, Farmers World has introduced a new programme where they will be conducting physical and chemical soil testing to identify nutrients recommended for specific crops in the field.
This was said when Farmers World presented its programme to District Executive Committee (DEC) members in Ntchisi.
According to Farmer’s World Area Manager Kumbukani Munthali, the programme will assist farmers in the district to be equipped with necessary skills and make decisions on the right crops to grow in their fields.
“In Productivity Improvement Program for Smallholder Farmers (PIPS) we are directly working with at least 6,000 farmers across eight districts namely Ntchisi, Ntcheu, Mchinji, Dowa, Dedza, Kasungu, Salima and Lilongwe.
“We are targeting major crops such as maize, groundnuts, soya, beans and potatoes with a goal of increasing sustainability of production by an average of 20 percent in yield and 10 percent in income contributing to improved food security for the farmers and the country as a whole,” said Munthali.
Munthali added that there will be collection of soil samples from different fields which will be analysed and sent to Malawi Fertiliser Company which will then be blending the fertilizer to be site specific by looking at the findings.
“Farmers will have access to customized fertiliser and there will be loans for those who cannot manage to buy for themselves.
“More importantly, through provision of extension services, we will be equipping farmers with necessary skills and information they need to operate in their fields and make well business investment decisions for themselves,” he said.
He said for the project to be achieved they will be utilising an innovative android technology developed by Columbian University called SODOC which simply means soil doctor.
SODOC experts will be involved in conducting free soil testing through soil maps identified and farmers will be informed on the level of nutrients in their fields as well as advising them on the best crops which can grow well with the content of nutrients found in their garden.
In her words, District Agriculture Development Officer for Ntchisi Maria Jere commended Farmers’ World for the programme .