By Elijah Banda for Development Desk
For over a decade Malawi has been experiencing disasters of various degrees, mainly climate related, such as above normal rainfall, prolonged dry spells, pests and diseases, late onset of rains and short rainfall seasons. The highlighted weather related problems have had profound effects on crop production by small scale farmers and subsequent hunger among the farmers which leads to reduced participation in social economic activities of their respective communities.
In view of these challenges Karonga-Diocese through its Development Desk is implementing a 3 year livelihood project which is engaging small scale farmers in agricultural practices that would withstand the shocks of the climatic variations. In pursuit of this the Development Desk has facilitated the establishment of demonstration sites in the 4 traditional authorities it is implementing the project. The demo plots act as farmers’ schools where various practices are showcased and farmers are given a chance to see and adopt a technology they feel best for their area.
On 3rd January 2018 the Development Desk- Desk Officer and Project Officer visited the set demo plots to appreciate how the work is going on and evaluate the farmer’s understanding of the initiative. In his remarks after visiting Titukulane Farmers Club in Lupembe-Karonga the Development Desk- Desk Officer thanked the farmers for the hard work shown towards mounting the demo plots and encouraged them to start practicing the technologies in their respective fields.
These technologies, he said, if scaled up would contribute to increased food production in the wake of these climate related shocks. He further asked the farmers to continue taking good care of the demo plots and their respective gardens by guarding against pests and diseases to report to extension workers for the area once they spot a strange disease.
In his remarks, the Chairperson of the group thanked Karonga Diocese for the project which he said would help to change mindset of many farmers in the area who still cling to old farming methods which are challenged by climate related shocks and affecting agricultural production.
Karonga Diocese Development Desk is implementing the project with financial assistance from MISEREOR Germany.