Dedza district agricultural development officer Joshua Mphanda has urged farmers in the district to form groups and join cooperatives to boost their productivity and income.
The officer made the remarks at Mtakataka on Thursday during a field day organised by Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (Cisp) and Total Land Care (TLC) in Senior Chief Kachindamoto’s area in the district.
Mphande said farmers in cooperatives are able to corner tricksters who flood markets during harvest periods.
He said many farmers fail to realise gains from their harvest due to low selling prices offered soon after harvest while cooperatives have the potential to address the situation through collective bargaining.
“I have advised farmers to consider joining cooperatives as the best route towards graduating into successful commercial farmers,” said Mphande.
He also hailed the two partners for promoting conservation agriculture and sharing knowledge on cooperatives.
Cisp agronomist Annie Nyasulu said many farmers continue practising traditional farming methods which are not practical now in the wake of climate change.
During the field day, farmers shared knowledge and skills to promote agricultural productivity.
Funded by the European Union, the 12-month project started in 2018 through the Promoting Food and Nutrition Security through Capacity Building, Prevention, Response and Adaptation to Crisis and Climate Change Project. n