KULIMA-BETTER Project helps 44, 000 farmers, phasing out Dec. 2022

ActionAid International Malawi has disclosed that 44, 000 farmers have benefitted from Kulima Better – a five-year project whose overall objective was to promote sustainable agricultural growth to increase incomes, employment and food security in Malawi in the context of climate change.

The programme, which phases out in December 2022, had three components: Increase in agricultural productivity and diversification through mainly up-scaling climate-smart agriculture technologies, agriculture value chain and business development and support to improved governance in the agriculture sector.

Kuwali–Government should continue supporting master trainers from this programme

Speaking in Mponela on Tuesday at the opening of a four-day workshop on review and study topic documentation in Dowa District, ActionAid Malawi Executive Director Pamela Kuwali asked the Malawi Government to continue providing support to master trainers with resources to monitor the operation of the farmer field schools in communities.

Kuwali said this would help to enhance the sustainability strategy that is currently in place.

She stated that main goal and objectives of the programme is to improve living standards of the targeted beneficiaries with main focus on women and the youth.

She said, “Farmers in 1, 599 farmer field schools have so far conducted 8,143 small scale research initiatives cumulatively on various research topics including pests and diseases management, spacing, variety performance and livestock production. Farmers have conducted 5830 Agroecosystem analysis on various crops and put in 3320 income generating activities in the two districts and over 71 percent have adopted the technologies learnt in farmer field schools.”

Kuwali added that through the 1, 487 village savings loans established and revamped in the two districts, 22, 305 farmers have access to local financial services and equipped with skills of keeping and lending of money.

“So, today’s meeting will help to put all the topics that our Farmers Field Schools have been researching on the past five years so that we compile the successfully studied topics, processes and outcome into a booklet which shall be shared with various stakeholders, partners, donors and beloved farmers in districts and later used as the resources materials that will help them in their day to day farming.”

Kapiyo–The nation will benefit from the documented best practices

According to Kuwali, ActionAid will be distributing stationery items to all vibrant farmers field schools so that they should continue to conduct their studies beyond the project lifespan as well as pig distribution in the districts of Chiradzulu and Nkhata Bay.

In her remarks, Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources in the Ministry of Aagriculture, Lusungu Mtokale, said the ministry has put in place measures that will make sure that the project is sustained.

Mtokale thanked ActionAid Malawi for the KULIMA-BETTER project, which he said has transformed a lot of farmers in various activities.

“The farmer field schools study findings documentation session under better KULIMA-BETTER programme by ActionAid drew master trainers from Chiradzulu and Nkhatabay to share findings on a range of farmer field schools study areas that were carried out by community Based Facilitators based priority needs of the communities, this was in addition to sharing success stories registered as a result of putting into practice some of the lessons that were drawn from those study findings and these stories are expected to be compiled into a compendium or booklets which will serve as a reference point for drawing best practices and lessons amongst for other future implementers,” he said.

One of the participants from Nkhata Ba, who is also the Agriculture Extension Development Coordinator for Tukombo Extension Planning Area, Augustine Kapiyo, said the workshop has helped agriculture extension workers share experiences on how to best implement the project.

“In general as front line workers the meeting was right forum to learn from others from different ecological zones of Malawi, all in all the nation will benefit from the documented best practices,” said Kapiyo.

The KULIMA-BETTER project was a five year project from 2018 to 2022 with funding from European Union through Self Help Africa (SHA) amounting to 1.5 billion kwacha with a main goal of promoting food, nutrition income and resilience security among 44, 090 smallholder farmers within the context of climate change in Chiradzulu and Nkhata Bay districts.

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