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Friday, 17 April 2015 13:07

LDT, new hope for legume farmers

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Lilongwe, April 17: Legumes Development Trust (LDT), a body under the umbrella Non-Governmental Organisation African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) has embarked on a project geared towards wooing farmers to adopt new legume crop farming technologies.

The project, called Conservative Farming, which is being piloted in 12 districts nationwide, aims at persuading farmers to appropriate seed and follow new farming practices other than the accustomed to traditional ways according to LDT Project Coordinator, Tadala Rambiki.

“The project has been piloted in a select 12 districts where some lead farmers have been provided with the right seed, appropriate seed chemical and advised on what steps to follow,” explained Rambiki in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) adding, “The idea is to show them the difference between produce accumulated from their traditional farming methods and that of the new technology.”

He also explained that the lead farmers in the pilot areas, technically called Extension Planning Areas (EPAs), have been advised to work in groups for easy grasping of the new farming concepts.

“There has been positive response from the farmers so far basing on the field day visits we have had in some EPAs,” he revealed further adding; “they have fears, however, of where to market their products, a situation we are trying to put under control.”

According to the LDT coordinator, crops from the new farming methods also provide a thick spacious ground cover which conserves moisture in the soil thus having the capacity to survive dry spells.

The project, under which particular focus is on groundnuts, beans, soy and pigeon peas, is being piloted in three districts in the North and South with six in the Centre including Salima, Ntchisi, Balaka and Chitipa.

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