Paprika farmers in Mkombezi, Rumphi say they are failing to exploit paprika farming business due to lack of extension services.
Group village head Mkombezi said in an interview on Tuesday that lack of extension workers is a big challenge for paprika farming in his area where the crop has potential to change people’s economic status.
“There is suitable land for paprika here in Bolero and there are many people who want to cultivate the crop. But but the challenge is that we do not have an extension worker to guide us.
“We are appealing to government through the Ministry of Agriculture to deploy an extension worker here,” he said.
Mkombezi complained that the six-kilometre distance to Nkhozo Estate, where the service is free, was too long.
Rumphi district agricultural development officer Lumbani Msiska admitted that there was no extension worker in the area and that he has already reported the matter to higher authorities for action.
He said farmers should go to Bolero Extension Planning Area (EPA) and other organisations to acquire extension services.
“We advise paprika farmers to also go to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have extension workers other than relying on government services alone,” Msiska said.