Mulanje Farmers told to Adopt Climate Smart Agriculture

Mulanje: Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) Malawi has advised farmers in Mulanje District to practice climate smart agriculture (CSA) as a way of mitigating the impact of climate change on crop production.

The advice comes following a report from the Department of Climate Change and Meteorological Services forecasting that there would be heavy rains in some parts of the district and prolonged dry spells in other parts during this rainy season.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency on Monday, Mulanje ADRA Better Extension Training Transforming Economic Returns (BETTER) Project Development Officer, Patrick Chayaka, said by adopting Climate Smart Agriculture, farmers will be able to increase farm productivity even during harsh weather conditions, thereby promoting food security at both household and community levels.

Mulanje being a disaster-prone district, it is frequently hit by flash floods and prolonged dry spells. These have a negative bearing on crop yield as they contribute to low crop production that leads to food insecurity among the affected farm families.

With Climate Smart Agriculture, however, farmers will be able to increase productivity by practicing conservational agriculture and crop diversification among other techniques and technologies, said Chayaka.

He then disclosed that as ADRA, through the Kulima Project being implemented in the district, they are holding sensitization meetings with community structures to create awareness on the technology’s benefits for farmers to appreciate.

We are working with the District Civil Protection Committee to reach all traditional authorities with massages on how best farmers can proceed with the rainfall they will receive.

We are also encouraging participatory scenario planning. This is where farmers themselves develop plans based on seasonal forecast for their area, explained Chayaka.

Commenting on the matter, Mulanje District Agricultural Development Office Crops Officer, Godfrey Kayira said they want farmers to grow crops that best suit their scenario.

We are encouraging farmers in traditional authorities Juma, Nkanda, Mnthiramanja and Sub TA Tombondiya and Ndanga where erratic rainfall and dry spells are expected, to plant early maturity crop varieties like Kanyani, PAN 53, PAN 01-21 and DK 80-53.

We are also promoting conservational agriculture and crop diversification in these areas, including manure application, to maintain moisture in the soil, said Kayira.

He added: Farmers in areas where normal to above rainfall is expected, like in TA Njema, Mabuka and Sub T/A Sungani Nzeru, should plant late maturity high yielding crop varieties like Mkango, Mbidzi and Njobvu so that they can take advantage of the rainfall.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA