Ntchisi: National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) has urged stakeholders in the agriculture sector in Ntchisi district to be innovative to ensure that farmers increase their productivity despite challenges facing them.
NASFAM Climate Smart Agriculture Project Coordinator, Fraser Mataya made the call Thursday when his organization engaged the stakeholders in the district on how best they can help farmers realize bumper yields.
The 2017/2018 farming season has been marred by a number of challenges such as the dry spell and fall army worm attacks and Ntchisi has not been spared.
We need put in place measures aimed at ensuring that our small scale farmers on the ground remain productive by sharing knowledge on how best we can respond to these challenges, he said.
Chairperson for Ntchisi District Council, Phillip Tsogolani described the meeting as timely and important as it provided room for information sharing among the stakeholders aimed at promoting both crop and animal production in the district.
Ntchisi is among the few districts in the country where a number of crops such as maize, Irish potatoes, beans, ground nuts, soya beans just to mention but a few do well. Let us ensure that we remain one of the country’s reliable food basket, he observed.
During the meeting, some stakeholders complained about an influx of agro dealers who are duping farmers by selling them fake pesticides, seed and even fertilizer saying it is negatively affecting the agricultural sector in the district.
Over 3,000 hectares of the 37,127 hectares of agricultural land in the district has been attacked by Fall Army worms during this agricultural season with Chikwatula Extension Planning Area in Traditional Authority Nthondo’s area being the worst hit according to the District’s Agriculture Development Officer, Hyacinthe Jere.
NASFAM has been implementing the five year Climate Smart Agriculture project in Ntchisi, Kasungu, Mzimba, Balaka, Zomba and Lilongwe from 2017 with funding from Irish Aid.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA