Chitipa, Poverty in Malawi can only be eradicated if rural communities are empowered with practical knowledge and skills that can positively transform their economic welfare.
Project officer for Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM) at Karonga Diocese Elijah Banda, said this on Thursday in Chitipa at a review meeting of the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP).
He said the three-year project which was rolled out in 2017 is progressing well as many farmers in the targeted areas have registered a rise in their agricultural production despite some challenges.
Farmers have been equipped with the knowledge of producing manure to reduce the cost of production for the staple maize crop while at the same time we are promoting the planting of nutrient fixing crops such as legumes.
The targeted communities and households whose major source of income is agriculture are now able to sustainably feed themselves and sell some of their produce, said Banda.
He said farmers also received goats through the project which is targeting 2400 farming households by the year 2020 in the four areas of Lupembe in Karonga, Chisenga, Misuku, and Mwamkumbwa in Chitipa.
In an interview with Mana, one of the beneficiaries of the IRDP in Mwamkumbwa, Christina Mwepa, said the project has enabled her to increase her harvest at a low cost as she relies on the manure she produces, and is now selling some of her produce as a source of income.
Agricultural Extension and Development Coordinator (AEDC) for Misuku Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Chitipa, Baxter Msukwa, commended CADECOM saying the project is complementing government’s effort in improving livelihoods of rural farmers.
The interventions by CADECOM such as Smart Agriculture and manure making help to improve soil fertility and soil structure which is assisting our work because we also aim to improve the agricultural production in the communities, he said.
The IRDP is being implemented with funding from MISERIOR, and it has four objectives of improving natural resources management, increasing annual agricultural production, equipping the youth with vocational skills and increasing income of households.
Source: MANA Online