Mzimba farmers hail drip irrigation
Farmers in Mzimba district, particularly in Champhira Extension Planning Area (EPA), have praised drip irrigation, which the Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) is encouraging them to use.
Malawi: Farmers in Mzimba district, particularly in Champhira Extension Planning Area (EPA), have praised drip irrigation, which the Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) is encouraging them to use as part of the TRANSFORM Programme in order to increase productivity.
CADECOM is implementing the TRANSFORM Programme in Mzimba district with the assistance of Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)/ Danish Church Aid (DCA) Malawi, which is co-coordinating the Programme with the Norwegian Development Fund and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Speaking on Thursday 14 July 2022 during a media tour organized by NCA/DCA to see how the TRANSFORM Programme is assisting farmers in Mzimba district, Tereza Chirwa, one of the district's farmers, said that the drip irrigation she learned through the TRANSFORM Programme has eased her farming work.
"An agricultural officer from CADECOM visited us and advised us on how we can practice drip irrigation; after learning about this type of irrigation in the group, I decided to put what we learned into practice as an individual farmer."
"My farming work has become so much easier since I started using drip irrigation as opposed to the type of irrigation that uses watering canes, which is tiresome and time-consuming," Chirwa said.
Chirwa, who grows tomatoes and uses drip irrigation, expressed confidence that she will harvest more tomatoes this year because of the drip irrigation.
Apart from individual farmers, some farmers working in groups have also embraced drip irrigation under the supervision of CADECOM through the TRANSFORM Programme.
One of the groups using drip irrigation is the Million Club from Chimsolo village in the Traditional Authority (T/A) Mzikubora in Mzimba. The club's chairperson, Misozi Nkhwazi, stated that their farm productivity has increased.
"We have two gardens where we are doing tomato farming using drip irrigation and our productivity has improved as compared to the past," she said.
"Since we started drip irrigation, the first harvest from the one tomato garden we earned about K520, 000, which part of it we reinvested into our farming and the remaining money we shared amongst ourselves as a club."
CADECOM Agronomist Noel Chilobwe stated in his speech that with the TRANSFORM Programme in Mzimba district, CADECOM's move is to impart knowledge among the district's farmers in order to improve farm productivity.
He also stated that CADECOM's goal is to transition farmers from subsistence to commercial farming.
"We are assisting farmers through a series of training to transition them from subsistence farmers to commercial farmers so that they can generate income from farming," Chilobwe explained.