Zomba chief wants extension workers cross-transferred

Extension workers that have overstayed in Sub-Traditional Authority (ST/A) Ntholowa’s area in the eastern region district of Zomba risk being posted somewhere after the chief claims they have ran out of new practical methods of farming.

The chief was speaking on Monday during a monitoring exercise by Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) of the Zomba Catholic Diocese who are implementing a project called Citizen Voice Intensification (CVI) in the area under the Research and Development Department (ZARDD) in partnership with the Norwegian Church Aid.

The project has exposed several challenges which farming families are encountering in order to access information or techniques on modern agriculture farming practices in ST/A Ntholowa and T/A M’biza in the district.

CCJP coordinator Raphael Yusuf
CCJP coordinator Raphael Yusuf

He appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security through the district agricultural office to consider cross-transferring the six extension workers in Dzaone extension area in order to incorporate others which he said can bring new farming technologies in his area.

“Most of these extension workers have overstayed and are stubborn when it comes to discharging their duties. Instead of concentrating on offering technical expertise on farming, they have in turn established farming gardens to fend for themselves forgetting the people who should need their assistance.

“If new agriculture personnel comes here, I am sure we are going to see change in the way farmers are going to apply new farming methodologies,” he said.

However, impeccable sources at the Zomba district agricultural office told Nyasa Times that the extension workers in question were given posting letters sometime last year.

“What we heard was that they are waiting for transport to ferry them to their new destinations. Up to now, nothing has happened. Indeed it is true that most of them have overstayed in the area and need transferring,” said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

CCJP coordinator Raphael Yusuf said the three-year project aims at giving the citizens the right to development, meaning the demand for better social services and access for the uplifting of their livelihood is their Constitutional right.

He said in this context, the farming families of Zomba have the right to demand these services and participate in all types and levels of development in the areas of agriculture services. This is in line with the government policy, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security that demands pluralistic demand-driven services to be delivered to farmers.

“Through the CVI project, farming families from Thondwe, Dzaone and Ngwelero EPAs in the area of Senior Chief Chikowi had identified the challenges affecting their lives emanating from the shortfalls in the section of the agriculture extension services,” said Yusuf.

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