Korea for high sorghum production in Malawi

Malawi’s sorghum production is expected to improve in the next three years, thanks to Korean government which has pumped in $120 000 towards the promotion of the crop in the Shire Valley.

Nsanje District Agricultural Development Officer (DADO) Isaac Ali confirmed the development with Malawi News Agency (Mana) saying the Lower Shire district is prone to prolonged dry spells and droughts hence the promotion of sorghum since it is drought tolerant.

Ali said the Korean funded project dubbed Enhancement of National Agricultural Extensional Services for National Food Security (ENAESNFS) will promote the use of improved sorghum seeds and application of all the recommended crop husbandry practices among other things.

“The productivity of sorghum in Nsanje for example is at 330 kilogrammes (kg) per hectare against the national average yield of 718 kg per hectare. This has been happening because most of the farmers have been growing local varieties hence affecting their production.

Growing sorghum as a cash crop to be encouraged in Malawi.

“We have received $120 000 so that the farmers improve production and productivity of sorghum in the next three years.

“The project focuses on the promotion of sorghum being an important staple food in the Shire Valley and a food security crop besides being a drought tolerant crop,” he explained.

Ali said the project will be piloted in Magoti Extension Planning Area (EPA) because most of the farmers in the area depend on sorghum production.

He said besides extension services, farmers will be provided with improved seeds and fertiliser, to help them improve sorghum production thus addressing the problem of food insecurity.

“Farmers will also be encouraged to multiply improved sorghum seeds to increase accessibility of the same with an aim of increasing their yields from 330 kg to 1 500 kg per hectare,” he said.

According to Ali, 10 000 households are expected to benefit from the program indirectly by the end of the project.

ENAESNFS is a product of the Korea – Africa Food Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI) meeting held in Uganda November, 2012.

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