Wednesday, December 7

Agriculture

Agriculture Ministry courts two companies on Mega farms
Agriculture

Agriculture Ministry courts two companies on Mega farms

Barely days after President Lazarus Chakwera directed the Ministry of Agriculture to set up at least one mega farm within sic months, this publication can confirm that the Ministry has hit the ground running by courting potential local companies to partner with in the Mega Farms project. Speaking when he presided over a two day Malawi Agricultural Productivity and Commercialisation Conference recently in Lilongwe, Chakwera expressed his displeasure at the slow pace the Ministry of Agriculture is taking to set up the mega farms which was one of his campaign promises. “One of my campaign promises was the establishment of Mega farms. But close to two years now since assuming office there has been little or nothing on the ground in relation to the same. “The time for action on Mega fa...
Government impressed with youth’s venture in agriculture
Agriculture

Government impressed with youth’s venture in agriculture

The Director of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Wiskes Nkombezi has expressed happiness over the growing interest by the Youths in the country who are venturing into the agricultural sector. Nkombezi said this on Saturday in Lilongwe during tan agricultural symposium hosted by Tradeline Corporation Limited, where SMEs who have undergone capacity building training under the Jobs for Youth project were showcasing their business products and also networking with large companies for potential linkages. Nkombezi said; "Iam very impressed as you have seen a lot of young people are going into Agricultural Sector which is the biggest economic sector in the country, so for us to harness the population of the youth we ought to involve them in the Agri...
Farmers urged to embrace use of organic fertilizer
Agriculture

Farmers urged to embrace use of organic fertilizer

Local farmers have been advised to turn to organic alternatives amid reports that the prices of fertilizer are expected to raise by June. In March this year, officials from Fertilizer Association of Malawi said fertilizer prices are likely to hike between June and July due to the Russia-Ukraine war. The Association's Executive Administration officer Mbawaka Phiri said Russia is a major exporter of natural gas which is used to produce fertilizers and the current war is expected to put the prices under-threat. This comes when Malawians have already been complaining about the previous farming season's prices which were hiked by over 80%. In an interview with The Atlas Malawi, Agricultural expert, Tamani Nkhondo-Mvula said: "As a country we should accept that we're going to have hi...
Pigeon farmers call for structured markets
Agriculture

Pigeon farmers call for structured markets

By Nellie Kapatuka: The Nandolo Association of Malawi has called on the government to work on constituting proper market structures for pigeon peas, locally called ‘nandolo’. Speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday during a pigeon peas recipe book and animal feed launch by Christian Aid, the associations’ chairperson Susan Chimbayo said lack of properly regulated markets for the crop is dwindling its growth in production. She observed that despite pigeon peas being deemed a cash crop, it is not given the much needed attention and support as compared to other cash crops like tobacco. “Most farmers hurry to sell their pigeon peas because most of them do not have conducive places to keep it after aggregation and this is why we are encouraging them to form cooperatives and at the same time...
Fish farmers hail Maldeco support
Agriculture

Fish farmers hail Maldeco support

By Staff Writer: Some fish farmers in Mangochi and Zomba have hailed The Foods Company Limited (TFCL), a subsidiary of conglomerate Press Corporation plc (PCL) trading as Maldeco, for supporting them through their fish farming and providing them with a ready market for their fish. Speaking to journalists in Mangochi and Zomba at the weekend, the farmers said Maldeco has been giving them assistance in terms of the technical know-how in aquaculture farming as well as assisting them to access the much needed fingerlings so that they are economically independent. Maldeco is running a community transformation initiative dubbed ‘One Village, One Cage’ (OVOC) Initiative where in each of its surrounding five villages, Beach Village Committees (BVCs) have been allocated a cage on Lake Malawi whe...
Analyst commends government on new agriculture sector guidelines
Agriculture

Analyst commends government on new agriculture sector guidelines

By Staff Writer: A renowned agriculture policy analyst Tamani Nkhono has commended government for formulating new policy guidelines aimed at improving the country’s agricultural sector. Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Agriculture announced the new policy guidelines on Monday and said they are effective starting from June 1, 2022. The new guidelines among other things will effective this year see farmers operating in cooperatives if they are to benefit from government’s Agriculture related pogrammes like the Affordable Input Programme (AIP) and various extension services initiatives. In an interview, Nkhono Mvula said bringing farmers together in a club or a cooperative will help towards achieving Agriculture Commercialisation since “farmers will now be able to easi...
AICC reviving cotton industry in Chikwawa
Agriculture

AICC reviving cotton industry in Chikwawa

By Marian Macheka: African Institute for Corporate Citizenship (AICC) Project Officer, Moses Ching'ombe Tuesday said his organization was implementing a project known as sustainable cotton for women and youth empowerment (SCOWYE) so as to revive cotton industry. He said this during a field inspection visit in the area of Sub Traditional Authority Masache in Chikwawa, saying through the three year project, AICC was championing adoption of better cotton certification, and income diversification among others so as to improve production as well as productivity. "Most of the times farmers use recycled seeds, poor farming techniques which in turn contribute to low output. However, through this project farmers have been trained on better cotton initiative aimed at making cotton productio...
CSOs urge government to stop using national IDs in AIP programme
Agriculture

CSOs urge government to stop using national IDs in AIP programme

By Dean Chisambo: Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has appeal to government to stop using national identity cards on buying Affordable In-put programme by the beneficiaries. Speaking during the dissemination workshop on findings of challenges and lessons of AIP programme report, Centre for Accountability and Transparency (CSAT) Executive Director Willy Kambwandira said government should consider integration social Accountability in their programming so that are not reactive to issues but should be proactive. He said a lot of questions that they received were issues of buying national ID by vendors from the farmers, and some traditional authorities were demanding extra- money from the beneficiaries to issue letters for some people to purchase the commodities. He said:" we also...
Tobacco farmers bemoan low prices at Limbe Auction Floors
Agriculture

Tobacco farmers bemoan low prices at Limbe Auction Floors

By Yamikani Yapuwa: Tobacco farmers at Limbe Auction Floors have bemoaned an increase in low prices and no sales of tobacco at the opening of the market on Wednesday. In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) during the opening, a Phalombe based farmer, Chipiliro Chimenya whose tobacco was given no sale order said it was surprising that his tobacco leaf has been given a no sale order yet it is of good quality. "My tobacco was pegged at US$2.40 but has been rejected by the buyers. What price do they expect on such quality? "This is disappointing considering the effort that I put in taking care of the crop to be of high quality only to be given a no sale," he lamented. Another Farmer from Mayaka in Zomba, Asibu Matemba said it was sad for farmers to see prices of tobacco...
ACADES in job creation drive
Agriculture

ACADES in job creation drive

By Moses Nyirenda: Lilongwe based youth led organization, ACADES Malawi said with support from Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) project, was committed to creating more job opportunities for the youth, as one way of helping in reducing unemployment rate among young people in the country. Speaking on Thursday after some officials from World Bank and Ministry of Agriculture toured ACADES Malawi offices in Lilongwe, ACADES Malawi Co-founder, Madalitso Chipekwe said that her organization was concerned with the high number of unemployed youths in the country. “We have a lot of young people that have graduated from various universities and colleges but they are failing to get employed, hence as an organization with support from AGCOM we have the commitment in employing more of thes...