ASWAP-SP II excites farmers in Dedza
ASWAP-SP II has facilitated the construction of highways in various parts of the country, notably Dedza and Mitundu.
MALAWI: Farmers in the Dedza district are enthusiastic about the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAP)-Support Project (SP) II, which is equipping farmers in the district with contemporary farming techniques, among other things.
Daudi Maulana, one of the leading farmers in Dedza's Traditional Authority (T/A) Kaphuka, remarked that ASWAP-SP II had altered his farming skills.
“I have been getting support from ASWAP-SP II since 2019 and, with the support, my farming skills have greatly improved particularly in banana farming whereby I have been taught how to multiply banana suckers which some I do plant in my orchard and also sell to my fellow farmers,” Maulana said.
He went on to say that he farms other crops besides bananas, such as sweet potatoes and maize, and that banana farming alone brings him roughly K2 million each year.
Maulana claims that the money he earns through banana farming allows him to maintain his family, including paying his children's school tuition and currently building his dream home.
He went on to say that he wants to establish a large banana farm so that he can make a lot of money, therefore he asked for further help from ASWAP-SP ll.
“I have the vision to have more than one hector of the banana farm, as of now I already have the land and suckers and what I need now from ASWAP-SP II is to support me with solar water pumps that would assist me to irrigate the bananas during the dry season,” he said.
ASWAP-SP II has facilitated the construction of highways in various parts of the country, notably Dedza and Mitundu so that farmers can easily transport their farm produce to markets.
Another farmer from Dedza district, Immaculate Manyenga, commented that the road built in Dedza under ASWAP-SP II has alleviated the mobility challenges she was experiencing before the road's completion.
She said: “I am a lead farmer and some of the crops which I grow include; Irish potato, maize, sweet potatoes, beans as well as tomatoes and the construction of the road through ASWAP-SP II in Dedza has helped me a lot.”
“Before the coming of the road, transporting the farm produce to the market was a big challenge and because of this, as farmers, we were being forced to sale the produce to the vendors who were visiting us in the village and at the end we were making huge losses.”
ASWAP-SP II backers, including the World Bank, European Union (EU), USAID, Irish Aid, Norwegian Embassy, and Flanders, recently paid a visit to several farmers in Mitundu's Dedza district to see how they are benefiting from the program.
After visiting the farmers, Norwegian Embassy First Secretary Helle Biseth expressed her admiration for how ASWAP-SP II is benefiting farmers in Dedza region.
“We have seen some farmers who are being supported by ASWAP-SP II and many of them are doing well in terms of their farming, so far we have received positive feedback from these farmers saying that their living standards have been transformed for the better,” Biseth said.
Chitipa, Mzimba, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Mchinji, Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje, and Thyolo are among the 12 districts in Malawi where ASWAP-SP II is being implemented.