Nzeru za Abambo farm in Mtalimanja village in Dowa District, initially meant for maize production and processing, is now expanding across 200 hacters of land and working towards diversifying crop production in order to increase exports that would help earn the much needed foreign exchange in Malawi.
The farm has just introduced a banana plantation, will grow oranges and tangerines and is currently constructing over twenty greenhouses for production of various vegetables.
A deep and very wide dam was already constructed–from which water is being pumped to irrigate the farm–using electricity-powered mechanization.
Nzeru za Abambo farm is owned by community members–led by a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist Napoleon Dzombe–who actually hails from Mtalimanja village.
Minister of Agriculture, Lobin Lowe, visited the farm to appreciate what is going on there, a gesture which, apparently, pleased Dzombe as it meant “government acknowledges his initiatives”.
And speaking during the minister’s tour, Dzombe emphasized that the farm aims at promoting production in order to create more employment opportunities and increase exports.
“If we can produce as much as we can, it means we will have a lot of exports that would help Malawi generate more forex which will be used to develop the country, ” he said.
Dzombe said it is sad that chain stores in Malawi are flooded with imported bananas, oranges and tangerines from Tanzania, South Africa and Mozambique, respectively.
“This is not pleasing at all. Malawi has favourable conditions to grow these crops. We need to grow and export these crops in order to improve our economy which will, in turn, enable our people have jobs and incomes”.
He added that, the greenhouses at the farm, will ensure control of the weather so that the crops would be grown continually and meet the specifications for exportation.
According to Dzombe, there will be over 20 greenhouses at the farm–imported from China.
Nzeru za Abambo farm is not the only amazing initiative minister Lowe toured in Mtalimanja village.
Apparently, the village also has the School for Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI) which Dzombe and the community are operating since 2006 with an annual funding from well-wishers–now at USD500,000.
SAFI enrolls 40 families from across the country at one single time, training them in modern methods of farming.
According to Dzombe, the 40 families are accommodated in the school’s houses that have electricity and piped water.
The school takes care of the families’ every day needs during their stay and also provides for their travel to and from the place.
Near the irrigation dam, construction of a huge modern hotel is underway.
Dzombe told minister Lowe that the facility will contribute towards boosting Malawi’s tourism and generate income for people in Mtalimanja village through meetings, among many other tourist activities.
After the tour, Lowe said he was impressed with what he described as “brilliant innovations and initiatives” by a Malawian.
“This is commendable because it is not just the farm, the hotel and the farming school. He has also opened up roads here, brought electricity and water that have improved people’s lives.
“I am also impressed with the irrigation farming and cooperation the people here have demonstrated towards agriculture. Irrigation and cooperatives are the things we must promote if the country’s agriculture is indeed to be beneficial,” Lowe said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :