Some farmers in Rumphi District have hailed climate smart agriculture initiatives such as drip irrigation.
These are farmers from hard-to-reach areas of traditional authorities Chikulamayembe and Mwankhunikila who have for long relied on traditional ways of farming.
One of the farmers, Chancy Kachali from Kankhoka Village Development Committee, said they are being drilled by an organization, Small Producers Development and Transporters Association (Sprodeta) under its Empowering the Vulnerable Populations through Climate Smart and Agro-Ecological Practices and Gender Equality Project.
Another farmer Rowland Nyorongo, who leads a 12-member farmer group from Sasasa in Rumphi District, said the drip irrigation farming was good.
Nyirongo they invested around K200,000 in procuring basins, pipes and chemicals.
“The only challenge is that the farming technique requires one to have enough money to buy the required equipment. But once you start off, this farming system is way easy and profitable. A farmer would have time to do other things while his crops are being irrigated,” he said.
According to Sprodeta Programmes Manager Albert Mtonga the project’s goal is to contribute towards poverty reduction, community resilience and gender equality among 2,000 rights holders in Mzimba and Rumphi Districts by December 31, 2021.
“We have seen a number of farmers harvesting tomatoes earning profits in return. Through the project, the farmers have also learnt how to make manure for their crops. These are part of 230 rights holders who have been trained in climate smart production systems that is organic farming, integration of micro-investment kits and chicken production,” he said.
The project is being implemented with financial support from Norwegian Church Aid, and Dan Church Aid now called Joint Country Programme.