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Saturday, 14 July 2018 16:32

Feed the Future hands over 71 bicycles to Farmers World extension officers

Written by  Maston Kaiya
some of the Agronuts on their bicycles some of the Agronuts on their bicycles Pic by Maston Kaiya

Lilongwe, July 14, 2018: Feed the Future Malawi Agriculture Diversification Activity on Friday handed over 71 Buffalo bicycles to sub-grantee - Farmers World agronuts (extension officers belonging to Farmers World) for agricultural extension services. 

Feed the Future Malawi Agriculture Diversification Activity is promoting several agriculture technologies such as inoculant for higher soya and groundnuts yields, PICS bag hermetic technology for controlling post-harvest losses and drip irrigation for increased productivity among others.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Feed the Future Malawi Chief of Party, Carl Larkins said the bikes will give the 71 Argonauts a reliable mode of transportation so they can ably reach out to more smallholder farmers in Lilongwe rural communities.

“We believe that providing mobility to these extension workers will tremendously increase farmers’ access to extension messages across the southern and central districts of Malawi,” said Larkins.

Larkins said Agricultural extension plays a crucial role in promoting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of pro-poor economic growth.

In his remarks the General manage for Farmers World Eben Olivier said the bicycles would greatly help the agronuts reach out to far more people and they will be much more effective in the job they are doing.

Olivier said the agronauts provide farmer group training, mount demonstration plots, host field days and also provide in-shop advice to customers, to help them make more informed decisions around input purchases.

“Farmers World has got 13,400 farmers that agronuts go out to educate on what the best products to use are to make sure they maximize their profits, so with the bicycles the agronuts will be able to reach out to far more people in the communities,” said Olivier.  

One of the beneficiaries Biniwell Kachikopa, said the bicycles would help them ease their mobility challenges.

“We travel long distances to meet farmers clubs and these bicycles will help ease that big challenge that we face. We are thankful to Feed the Future for the initiative,” said Kachikopa.

Feed the Future Malawi Agriculture Diversification Activity is a five-year USAID-funded initiative aimed to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger among Malawi’s smallholder farmers by building robust market linkages and improved agricultural productivity. In Malawi the project is targeting Mangochi, Machinga, Balaka, Ntcheu, Mchinji, Dedza, Lilongwe Rural and Blantyre Rural and is being implemented by Palladium.

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