Chitipa District Council has commended Karonga Agricultural Development Division (KRADD) for its commitment to promote modern agricultural technologies which have potential to improve crop and livestock production in Chitipa and Karonga Districts.
The commendation was made Friday by the Vice Chair person for Chitipa District Council, Councilor Jaster J Ng’ambi when he presided over 2017 launch of manure and animal fodder production and preservation and irrigation farming at Kapoka Teachers Development Centre (TDC), in Misuku Extension Planning Area(EPA), in the area of Chief Mwenemisuku, in Chitipa District.
This year’s Theme is ‘Attaining Sustainable Agriculture Transformation, through Manure, Irrigation and Fodder Preservation.’
Ng’ambi observed that the introduction of new techniques of compost manure making , animal fodder production and irrigation farming, which is not labour intensive, will go miles in helping farmers to maximize crop and animal production.
Said Ng’ambi, “The new agricultural technologies in manure making, fodder preservation and irrigation farming, which we are all witnessing today are a big impetus for small holder farmers to boost crop and animal production, which will eventually make their households food secure and improved income levels.
According to Ng’ambi’ observation, most farmers continue to languish in abject poverty despite being in the crop and animal husbandry activities for decades due to use of archaic and environment unfriendly agricultural practices.
Like other districts, a bigger population of small holder farmers in Chitipa use mono cropping, recycle maize seed varieties and apply little or no synthetic fertilizers at all..
Some cultivate in river catchment areas and river banks, in search of fertile soils, while those with cattle commit their animals into free range grazing practice during lean periods, due to absence of fodder production and preservation skills, all of which make farmers fail to realize maximum profit from labour intensive farming activities.
During the function, officials and small holder farmers toured a number of centers where farmers organized into groups are producing manure and run maize and vegetable irrigation schemes, for their appreciation on the wonders manure can do to crops, and fodder preservation sites.
What stole the attention of many was the technique to produce and preserve fodder, predominantly, from maize stalks and legume leaves, which are processed into bales which are properly stored as animal feeds for lean period.
Earlier, Karonga ADD Programme Manager, Agrey Kamanga said government attaches a lot of importance to agriculture because the sector has great potential to improve food security and promote economic growth at house hold, community and national levels.
Kamanga, however, said negative effects of climate change, such as erratic rains, serious dry spells and floods have greatly interfered with the sector to consistently make small holder farmers food secure and to promote their house hold economy.
The PM, therefore, said it was in appreciation of the challenges that have come about with climate change that government is coaxing farmers to adopt new agriculture technologies so that they should not feel the pinch of adverse weather conditions which frustrate agriculture production.
He said besides improving soil fertility, manure behaves like a sponge in its moisture retaining capacity which makes crops, especially maize, to stand the test of dry spells, and still do better.
Said Kamanga, “ If small holder farmers can adopt manure making technologies and use pit planting system to grow maize, they are assured of realizing high yields, even in times when rains are erratic or in times when dry spells strike.”
Chitipa District, which is touted as the food basket of the Northern Region, was severely hit by historical dry spells during 2015-2017 agricultural season, forcing a bigger percentage of small holder farmers to realize miserable harvests that did not take most of them to the next harvesting season.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :