The United Nations World Food Programme (WPF) has challenged local farmers to embrace modern farming technologies to avert the consequences of dry spell and fall armyworms.
WFP country representative Benoit Thiry made the appeal on Friday at Saiti Mwasungu Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Makanjira in Mangochi District during the official handover of Unga bridge the humanitarian organisation constructed.
Dry spells alone, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development spokeperson Osborne Tsoka, have affected 12 percent of the total 1.7 million hectares so far.
In an interview, Thiry urged people in Mangochi to embark on irrigation farming and other modern farming technologies such as crop diversification, among others.
He said this will help them to harvest enough yields even in the wake of adverse weather.
“It is a reality that effects of climate change are negatively impacting on us. Every year, we witness stories of people from different countries, including Malawi reeling from the effects of bad weather.
“Therefore, the consequences should compel us to migrate from the old system of farming to the modern one to be food secure and independent,” he said.
In an earlier interview, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) president Alfred Kapichira Banda said farmers are anticipating low harvests this year whatever the case.
“In terms of dry spell, we have concluded that our harvest will be low,” he said. n