11 August 2020
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Wednesday, 17 April 2019 05:45

Govt pumps in K1 billion for farm input distribution to disaster stricken families

Written by  Steve Chirombo
Minister of Agriculture.. Joseph Mwanamvekha presents farm inputs to farmers at Thabwa in Chikwawa Minister of Agriculture.. Joseph Mwanamvekha presents farm inputs to farmers at Thabwa in Chikwawa pic by Abel Ikiloni (Mana)

Chikwawa, April 17,2019: Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamveka on Monday launched a K1 billion national farm input distribution exercise in response to the recent disasters that led to loss of crops, property and lives.

The launch, which took place at Thabwa Camp under Mitole Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Chief Mulilima’s area in the district, is a recovery measure for households that were affected by the disaster.

Mwanamvekha said the national farm input distribution exercise is expected to benefit 100,000 households in 15 districts that were affected.

“Government has given us this huge sum of money to implement the farm input distribution exercise, especially to our friends who were severely hit by floods so that they can get back to their farms and do winter cropping.

“However, the continued disasters should be a reminder to us that climate change is real. We have so many challenges due to rampant deforestation and farming along river banks,” said Mwanamveka.

The minister then reminded the gathering that it was everyone’s responsibility to plant trees and restore the environment if the country is to achieve Malawi Growth and Development Strategy number III.

He further said it was the wish of government to increase productivity and ensure enough stock of maize so that no one dies of hunger.

“This year, our ministry is distributing maize seed, potato vines and groundnuts among others. At the same time, as government, we understand that the flood survivors lack food and shelter and it is our responsibility to ensure they access such needs.

“We will, therefore, source more funds to boost this intervention so that more people are reached with relief items as well as seed for winter cropping,” he added.

Paramount Chief Lundu commended government for the timely support.

“We want to assure you we will do winter cropping to restore our lost glory regarding availability of food. We hope people will be going back into their fields.

“They will be provided with some relief food items because they have nothing to eat for now,” added Lundu.

Chikwawa District Commissioner, Lusizi Nhlane said over 9,000 hectares of land was affected by floods in the district.

“We have 4,487 hectares of maize field with 2,245 hectares of rice as well as 500 hectares of cassava fields destroyed in the just ended devastating floods. The rest of hectares share other types of crops,” he stated.

The national farm input distribution launch was done under the theme: Irrigation Farming: Key to food recovery for building household resilience.