Find Your Feet (FYF) Malawi has rolled out a K71 million one-year project to address the effects of El Nino that led to drought in most parts of Malawi.
The project will be implemented in Mbalachanda and Mzenga extension planning areas (EPAs) of Mzimba and Nkhata Bay districts, respectively, in the North of the country.
Speaking at a training workshop for some of the beneficiaries in Mzimba on Monday, FYF country director Chimwemwe Soko said the project comes after noticing that farmers lost up to 25 percent of produce last year due to El Nino-induced droughts.
He said the decrease in production thwarted the gains that the organisation had made in the previous three years of its five-year Empowering the Rural Poor in Malawi Project.
“We identified lead farmers who, in turn, trained others. The idea was to respond to high vacancy rate of extension workers in the implementation of sustainable agriculture in view of the climate change which is a challenge to most households.
“With sustainable agriculture, there was quite an increase in production by the farmers. Unfortunately, when we did monitoring last year, we observed that the trend was declining because of El Nino. That’s why we agreed to have another component within the programme to address effects of El Nino,” said Soko.
Atmospheric sciences and climatology lecturer at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), Abel Chiwatakwenda, said El Nino comes with less rainfall to the country, leading to hunger, starvation and malnutrition as direct impacts of the phenomenon.
One of the beneficiaries, Beatrice Banda from Euthini in Mzimba, said last year’s El Nino has left her family poor as she failed to harvest meaningful produce from her three-acre piece of land. She said the crops did not produce as expected due to erratic rains. n