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World Food Programme, government advocate crop diversification

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The Ministry of Agriculture and the World Food Programme (WFP) are encouraging farmers to diversify their crop production and consider use of manure in an attempt to attain the food security mark.

Minister of Agriculture Lobin Lowe and WFP Country Director and Representative Paul Turnbull said this during a tour of the WFP Adaptation Fund projects in Zomba District which aims at encouraging climate resilient agriculture.

Lowe said with rising fertiliser prices, manure can help farmers yield more.

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“Farmers are aware of fertiliser prices and have come up with so many interventions, including having alternative crops to maize. On the other hand, using manure for crops that require fertiliser is ideal in making the country food secure,” he said.

The Adaptation Fund, being championed by the WFP, is a $10 million five-year project which started in 2020 with sustainability mechanisms for use afterwards.

Turnbull said climate change has heavily affected agriculture output in Malawi and the fund aims at helping local farmers to adapt.

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“This, in the end, provides a more diverse agricultural sector and more nutritious food for the families,” Turnbull said.

Apart from helping farmers to diversify, the project equips farmers with sustainability and marketing skills to earn from agriculture.

Treasurer of the marketing committee Mary Sabola said the group has been equipped with special skills on making manure, among other things.

She is upbeat about a possible increase in agricultural output.

During last season, farmers in the country faced challenges including weather shocks and rising fertilizer prices.

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