About 21 farmer groups engaged in small-scale agribusiness in Balaka, have received about K32 million in grants to boost their businesses.
The grants have been disbursed under the Village Challenge Fund (VCF) which seeks to promote the uptake of modern agriculture technologies in the district.
Speaking during a media tour on Tuesday, Balaka district agriculture development officer Dennis Zingeni said the grants are having a huge impact on the farmers’ lives in many ways.
He said, “For farmers to be able to use certified seed or to apply fertilisers, they need money and when they are doing small-scale businesses, they become economically empowered to buy the inputs.”
Zingeni added that more farmers are bound to benefit from the fund as out of 52 farmer groups who applied for the fund, 42 have qualified and will receive the second chunk of the grants.
One of the beneficiary groups is Tithandizane Farmers Business School from Ndoya Village in Traditional Authority Msamala in the district.
The group’s chairperson, Evance Limbanga, said the group has been rearing an average of 100 broiler chickens on five occasions they accessed the VCF.
“With profits realised from the sales, members have improved their economic standing in their respective homes,” he said.
VCF is a component of Sustainable Agriculture Production Project (Sapp) which is implemented under the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.