By Haneef Maulana:
Machinga District Agriculture Development Office Wednesday trained small scale farmers from Traditional Authority Chamba in the district in homestead farming to ensure that rural communities are resilient to the effects of climate change.
Agriculture Extension Development Officer for Chamba area, Thokozile Nkhuta said the training was organised with financial support from Promotion of Rural Initiative and Development Enterprise (Pride) as an initiative to also ensure that rural communities are food and nutrition secure through backyard gardens.
Nkhuta disclosed this at Shukulani Primary School where 40 small scale farmers mostly are expected to gain knowledge and skills in homestead farming.
“After this training, we are expecting these farmers to have backyard gardens and this will improve their livelihood since they will have easy access to food stuff,” she said.
She added that farmers are trained in land management, weeding, planting, fertilizer application, pest and disease control and effective harvesting methods.
Nkhuta said, apart from homestead farming the agriculture office has also trained them in effective financial resource utilization through farmers business school.
The Agriculture Extension Development Officer said he was impressed to see women actively participating in the training adding that modern agricultural technologies advocate for women and other vulnerable groups’ involvement.
One of the participating small scale farmers from Chamba Village, Fanny Mdala described the training as key to improvement of her livelihood saying this is also a right direction towards poverty reduction at household level.
“Previously I didnt know how to earn money at home but with backyard garden I have learnt a lot and with this knowledge I want to start rearing chickens, cultivating different crops such as tomatoes and vegetables and all this will be done within my home premises,” she said.
PRIDE is jointly funded by the International Fund for Agriculture development (IFAD) and the Malawi Government.