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By Chimwemwe Mangazi:

Some farmers benefitting from the Farm Income Diversification Programme II (FIDP II) have spoken highly of it, saying it has boosted productivity.

The programme is being implemented by the government with support from the European Union.

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It seeks to improve the nutritional status of rural households through diversified production and facilitating access to markets.

Under the FIDP II programme, farmers are mobilised into groups to facilitate production of high quality crops and sell in bulk.

In Balaka District, some beneficiaries are producing sweet potatoes, pigeon peas and groundnuts while in Salima District the farmers have established village orchards for growing Mangoes and Soya.

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Chairperson of Utale Farmers Association in Balaka District, Anthony Majawa, said the project have equipped them on developing business plans, price bargaining and financial management.

“Since the programme started in 2016, the implementers have been advising us on managing crops in the field and after harvesting and how we can manage our finances through saving,” Majawa said.

Chairperson of Msaza Horticulture Cooperative, Ruben Mkwezalamba, said he was excited that the project would help in increasing revenue.

Malawi Mangoes Outreach Manager, Victor Mshani, said the expected output from the village orchards was 880 tonnes of mangoes a year which represents a 25 percent of the company’s current raw mangoes requirement for production.

United Purpose District Coordinator, Richard Matemba, said farmers had grasped the concept of farming as a business.

“We have a very good working relationship with farmers and tradition leaders,” Matemba said.

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