IITA embarks on K1.7 billion root, tuber crops project

Mangochi, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) says it would implement a root and tuber crops for agricultural transformation in Malawi, a project which would roughly cost 2,030,000 Euros (estimated K1.7 billion) in five districts of the country.

Research Assistant at IITA, Joseph Mhango made the disclosure on Friday when the organization addressed the Mangochi District Executive Committee (DEC) on the project.

He said the cassava component of the project would be implemented in Lilongwe, Kasungu, Nkhatabay, Mzimba and Mangochi for five years targeting about 40,000 farming families.

Mhango pointed out that each year two commercial seed multipliers and 2,000 farmers would be targeted in each district and that the nutrition component of the project would target under �five children.

The project’s goal is to increase the contributions of root and tuber crops to food security, nutrition and incomes in Malawi by harnessing advances in cassava research and development to meet the demand of farmers, consumers, processors and traders in Malawi, he emphasised.

The project will also strengthen the national agricultural system in the development of vibrant seed systems in root and tuber crops and this will ensure availability and access to high quality planting material, Mhango added.

The project will run up to 2021 and it is funded by the Irish Aid while International Potato Centre is the host and in Mangochi it will be implemented in Nankumba, Boadzulu and Nasenga Extension Planning Areas.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA