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HomeAfricaLivelihoods project empowers farmers | Nation Online

Livelihoods project empowers farmers | Nation Online

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Farmers from Traditional Authority Nkula in Machinga District have a reason to smile after realising bumper yields courtesy of the Malawi Watershed Services Improvement Project (Mwasip).

The communities said they implemented activities which restored soil fertility; hence, recording significant improvements in crop productivity.

Speaking on Tuesday during a visit to appreciate the impact of the interventions in the area, one of the farmers Wenston Makina from Talandira, said for years, floods affected crop yield due to failure to control run-off water.

Matiyasi speaks about beekeeping

He said: “The project has come at a time we had lost hope of using the degraded land for cultivation.

“We are happy that we took bold steps in implementing environmental conservation initiatives such as afforestation and construction of swales in our fields which helped to retain moisture in our fields.”

Makina said the construction of water speed controlling structures coupled with application of modern farming practices such as the use of manure as opposed to inorganic fertiliser helped people get bumper yields this year.

The project has also empowered people to venture into bee-farming.

Bisa-Kasupe Cooperative chairperson Staubi Matiyasi said the project supported them with a honey-making machine and beehives.

“Besides making money, people have also realised the importance of taking care of trees,” he said.

Nkula agriculture extension development officer Obrey Maida said the project trained people in farmer field school on new farming technologies.

“This has helped farmers a lot as they are now able to produce bumper yields from small plots; hence, improving their livelihood,” he said.

Machinga District Council spokesperson Martin Chiwanda said Mwasip seeks to encourage communities to conserve the environment through alternative means such as agribusinesses.

Malawi Government is implementing Mwasip with funding from the World Bank