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Wednesday, 21 March 2018 08:46

CSA, solution to country’s food insecurity

Written by  Martin Chiwanda
Malunga: most of the districts in the country are experiencing tough weather patterns which contribute to poor crop harvest Malunga: most of the districts in the country are experiencing tough weather patterns which contribute to poor crop harvest

NSANJE, March 20: Chairperson for Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Dr Chidanti Malunga has reiterated the need for the country to promote Climate Smart Agriculture saying this is the only way the country could improve food security in the wake of effects of climate change which have rocked the country.

Speaking Monday on the sidelines of a two day field visit for Nsanje District Agriculture Service Committee organized by Care Malawi International which is implementing a five year project dubbed ‘United in Building and Advancing Life Expectations’ (UBALE) in Nsanje, Dr Malunga said most of the districts in the country are experiencing tough weather patterns which contribute to poor crop harvest.

Malunga said after visiting modern agricultural technologies which are being promoted by Care Malawi International in Nsanje district which is prone to prolonged dry spells and inadequate rainfall; it has proved that Climate Smart Agriculture is the only way to go for farmers to harvest more thereby ensuring food security.

He noted that Malawi as a country can only achieve food security if such technologies such as conservation agriculture are promoted to their fullest.

“As a country we are experiencing different weather patterns such as prolonged dry spells and droughts. These conditions fail us to yield more to sustain our lives. However, if we use the new technologies then the country can be food secure,” said Malunga.

He commended Care Malawi for the project saying it has transformed lives of Nsanje communities through the promotion of new agricultural technologies.

“Climate Smart Agriculture is the way to go, especially where natural resources of water and soil nutrients are minimal. My specific impression is that the technology is good and needs to roll out to many farmers,” added the Chairperson.

He underscored the need for the implementers and other stakeholders in agriculture to transfer the concept to all the farmers in the district so that they too benefit.

Chidanti further said as an expert in agriculture, most of the stakeholders seem to put much effort on lead farmers who he said fail at times to transfer the technologies to others.

“My worry though, is that there seems to be too much emphasis on lead farmers. Is there evidence that supports the fact that lead farmers transfer the technology to others? I would have loved if farmers are reached out in groups other than this concept of lead farmers. My experience as an expert in agriculture is that lead farmers tend to 'keep' everything to themselves. They do not necessarily reach out to others,” pointed Dr Chidanti Malunga.

Givemore Zambasa is one of the farmers in Nsanje who are benefiting with the Climate Smart Agriculture technologies in Zunde Extension Planning Area (EPA).

Zambasa said in the past when they had no knowledge on the concept, they could not harvest much due to tough weather conditions the district experiences.

“Climate Smart Agriculture has helped us farmers yield more despite the combined effects of extreme hot weather and prolonged dry spells the district experiences. For instance, last year I managed to harvest over 40 bags of 50kgs of maize which was not the case before,” said Zambasa.

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is an approach that helps guide actions needed to transform and reorient agricultural systems to effectively support development and ensure food security in a changing climate.

CSA aims at sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes; adapting and building resilience to climate change; and reducing and/or removing greenhouse gas emissions, where possible.


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