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Tuesday, 04 April 2017 13:20

Productive-Farmer Approach to Increase harvest in Rumphi

Written by  Taonga Nyirenda

Rumphi, April 4, 2017: Farmers in Rumphi are expected to have bumper harvest this growing season 2016/17, following the implementation of Productive-Farmer Approach, a concept under Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP).

Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency, Rumphi District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO), Youngster Nyirenda, spoke highly of the crop situation in the district, saying the crops are promising and indicative of a likely bumper harvest.

According to Nyirenda, the Productive-Farmer Approach is a concept where only agriculturally productive but needy villagers were targeted by FISP in the district.

“The productive-farmer concept has been very effective in Rumphi. This is important because we should not regard every villager as a farmer.

“This program targeted farmers who have physical gardens and have shown proof that they are really farmers,” said Nyirenda.

Through the programme, targeted farmers were given a package of maize seed, legumes (Soya and Groundnuts) and fertilizer.

“We targeted 15, 400 farmers in Rumphi and we believe their contribution will be significant because fields can show how much they will harvest. We feel these farmers will provide enough food for Rumphi and surplus for sale,” he added.

Tiyezge Gondwe, one of the beneficiaries of the programme, said she expects to harvest 170 bags of maize of 50 kilograms each. She said that will be a big improvement from the previous harvests which could not suffice for the family year round.

“As a farmer, I grow various crops ranging from maize, ground nuts, millet, soya beans and Sun flower. With this program this year, I am expected to harvest about 170 bags of maize from my four-acre field.

“I have been harvesting little from my field in the past years which made my family hunger- stricken all year round. But now, I am optimistic I will have enough harvest to feed my family until the next rains”, Gondwe said.

Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services in Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr Albert Changaya, has also expressed satisfaction with the crop outlook in the district.

“I would say that I am very much impressed with what is happening here and I encourage farmers to grow varieties of crops that are drought resistant so that families should have enough food even in the face of prevailing climate change,” he said.

Rumphi and Dowa are the two districts in the country where government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development is piloting the Productive-Farmer concept.

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