In an effort to end chronic nutrition and food insecurity among households in Traditional Authority (T/A) Njewa in Lilongwe, Plan International Malawi has expanded its Kakungu Climate Change Adaptation Project in Njewa Extension Planning Area (EPA) so that more farming families benefit.
The organization has facilitated the establishment of radio listening clubs through which the smallholder farmers learn modern farming technologies.
The Kakungu Climate Change Adaptation Project Communications Officer, Chawanangwa Nyirenda, said the project was initially targeting 10, 000 farming households in Kakungu EPA only.
The farmers have been receiving starter-pack inputs and extension services.
Nyirenda said radio programmes was one recommendation that was highlighted to help disseminate information from Kakungu farmers to others within Njewa area.
“Currently we aim to target many farmers with the Ulimi Opindulitsa programme which enables farmers to learn from Kakungu farmers who are doing well through farming,” he said.
“But due to public demand, we have expanded and extended the project to Mpingu EPA so that more farmers can benefit. The major objective of this project is to mitigate adverse effects of climate change so that farming households can harvest adequate yields to meet their food and nutrition needs,” said Nyirenda.
A 22-year-old farmer, Lutiya Mwale, of Mwanjema Radio Listening Club said due to change in climate and the high cost of inputs, most of the subsistence farmers are struggling to feed themselves throughout the year.
Mwale said they expect things to turn around with the introduction of the project.
“We are very happy to be part of this project and we will religiously practice it,” she said.
Another farmer, Felister Mwale, stated that the coming of these technologies such as the making of compost manure will help them yield enough in the next growing season.
The Agriculture Extension Development Coordinator (AEDC) for EPA, Doris Msiska said the radio listening initiative has greatly helped farmers in the area to realise the importance of taking farming seriously and that it is possible to harvest more with the pieces of land they have.
Msiska said the area has an average land holding size of less than an acre per household hence the need for farmers to maximize their production.
“We are glad that so far at least 1556 farmers are adopting the new farming technologies within Mpingu EPA which means this year we will see change in terms of produce. Erratic rains, among others, also contribute to less harvests which have made most farmers to rely on piece works for survival than farming in general,” she explained.
Msiska expressed hope that the coming in of these technologies will help to sort some of the challenges.
In 2014, Plan Malawi International started implementing the Kakungu Climate Change Adaptation Programme which aimed at empowering farmers to be economically stable and in 2018 the Kakungu farmers decided to teach others what was working for them.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :