Lilongwe, Community Savings and Investment Promotion (COMSIP) Cooperative Union Limited says it will soon open an agriculture college in Mchinji which will among others train people on livestock production, seed multiplication, irrigation farming and agribusiness.
The first college to be operated by the cooperative union body in the country targets both cooperative members and nonmembers.
Speaking to the press in Lilongwe on Monday, Comsip Chief Executive Officer, Tenson Gondwe said the idea of establishing an agriculture college emanated from the gaps that were identified from its primary cooperatives.
“As you are aware that our target or working group are farmers who are in cooperatives and our determination has always been that we improve their livelihoods.
“However, for many years that we have worked with these farmers, we identified lack of knowledge and skill as their biggest challenge and it is for this reason that we will be introducing this college to fill in those knowledge gaps,” Gondwe explained.
He further said apart from pure farming lessons, the college intends to encourage farmers to take farming as business
As one way of showing commitment to the project, Comsip has already acquired a 26 hectare land where the college will be built.
“This college will have all the facilities and people across the country will be allowed to come to attend short as well full time courses,” he said.
Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Spokesperson, Lindiwe Chide hailed Comsip for complimenting to governments efforts.
Chide said Malawi as a country requires more tertiary institutions such as Comsip Agriculture College.
“As far as we are concerned this is a great move, but our plea to Comsip management is that all procedures for the establishment of such an institution must be followed and that the college should come up with courses that will benefit Malawians,” she said.
John Kadaya of Kamenyawanthu, Traditional Authority (TA) Mlonyeni where the Comsip farm is located said the establishment of the college would significantly change the agricultural system of the country and increase production amongst farmers.
“What is pleasing is the fact that this college will carter for both literate and the illiterate and am sure that through the knowledge and skill development a lot will be achieved,” Kadaya explained.
Meanwhile, Comsip is working with Chitedze Research Station on a number of programmes particularly on seed multiplication and livestock production.
Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA