Communities in Mwanza have been advised to plant drought resistant crops such as cassava and potatoes, as well as intensifying irrigation farming as dry spells continue to scorch crops in the district.
Foundation for Community Livelihood and Development (Focold) Executive Director Jones Mwalwanda gave the advice on Friday in the area of Traditional Authority Kanduku in Mwanza.
It was during the distribution of 200 bags of fertilizers worth K4.5 Million to 30 Community Based Childcare Centres (CBCC) in support of farming activities in the area.
Mwalwanda expressed worry over the current state of maize which has continues to wilt.
He said his organisation will distribute potato vines and cassava stems to CBCCs and selected families as alternative crops to maize.
“We are running a project called Thanzi la Mwana in this area which is aimed at reducing malnutrition and stunted growth, and we work with CBCCs. We support them to produce nutritious food for the children, training Child Caregivers and provide them with learning materials.”
Village Headman Wingolo from the area was sceptical that the area will harvest enough maize this year.
“In the past, by this period maize had started flowering, but now even those who planted in December will have to replant, three weeks have gone without rains. We are very worried,” lamented the village headman.
On her part, Neli Dominiki, vice chairperson for Chidang’ongwe CBCC said the support will go a long way in ensuring that CBCCs in the area have enough food.
“In the past we used to collect food from households and it was challenging because not all families were able to contribute but with support from FOCOLD, CBCCs in this area have their own gardens and produce their own food,” she said.