The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has urged farmers to form cooperatives because they are critical in sustainable agriculture development.
Controller of agriculture extension and technical service Wilfred Lipita said this recently at Chintheche Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Nkhata Bay during an agricultural field day.
He said farmers in cooperatives have a collective power to bargain for better prices and can easily acquire production inputs as compared to sole farmer production basis.
“I also urge you to venture into livestock production and intensify irrigation cropping as they are strong tools for achieving sustainable food security as well as promoting household nutrition and income,” he said.
Mzuzu Agriculture Development Division programme manager Agnes Moyo spoke on the importance of the agricultural fairs, saying they give an opportunity to farmers to showcase their potential.
“Apart from showcasing what farmers are doing in their respective clubs, they also have a wider opportunity of sharing ideas on how they can improve and promote their agricultural products,’’ she said.
An official from Nkhata Bay district council, Cosmas Chikapa, thanked the farmers for good demonstration plots and their commitment towards sustainable agriculture.
“We will continue supporting you with material and timely technical support in all your agricultural activities, he said.
During the field day, farmers from Kawiya Cluster under the Chintheche EPA, showcased a number of crop varieties, which are under research to ascertain those that could suit climatic conditions of the district.
One of the lead farmers from the cluster, Enala Banda, thanked agriculture officials for considering them to take part in the research.
“The research is a significant milestone in our agricultural discoveries as we have been planting varieties without knowing their performance in our area,” she said.