BLADD challenges farmers to integrate – Capital Radio Malawi
17 July, 2024

BLADD challenges farmers to integrate

Farmers in Neno District have been urged to embrace integrated   farming in the wake of climate change to achieve food security at both household and national levels.

Blantyre Agricultural Development Division (BLADD) Programme Manager, Anile Msukwa, made the call Friday at Matembe Cooperative in the area of Senior Chief Mlauli during an agriculture field day.

The event was held under the theme: “Integrated farming – key to sustainable food, income and nutrition security.”

Msukwa said by combining multiple agricultural activities like growing different crops and rearing animals, farmers are assured of bumper harvest as crops thrive in different conditions.

“A lot of crops under BLADD have been affected by dry spells in the just gone growing season but livestock is doing well. That is why we need to practice integrated farming to have something to rely on,” Msukwa said.

She said when a household has enough food, it improves nutrition security and also is a source of income as they can sell the surplus.

Msukwa, therefore, thanked Umodzi Consulting which is working with 14 cooperatives and encouraging homestead farming in Neno District.

Umodzi Consulting Director of Business Development, Frank Mkumba, said the organisation, with a US$4.5 million funding from Helmsley Charitable Trust through the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is implementing a three-year Livelihood Improvement Programme (LIP) in Neno working with 14 cooperatives.

Mkunba said LIP programme has reached out to 4,217 farmers including non-communicable diseases patients.

“The programme has distributed 2,877 drip irrigation kits to farmers; 8,112 chickens to 826 and 597 goats to 199 farmers on a pass-on arrangement,” Mkumba said.

He said the aim of the project is to address the socio-economic, food and nutritional challenges in Neno District especially to people with non communicable diseases.

Senior Chief Mlauli encouraged his subjects to adopt integrated farming practices considering that Feremu is a drought prone area.

Mlauli said with integrated farming Neno can become a food basket feeding other surrounding districts as he witnessed during the field day.

Chairperson for Matembe Cooperative Producers Ltd, Mighty Feremu, said the project is helping them improve their nutrition status as they are growing different kinds of crops and rearing livestock.

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