Mkango Resources Limited—a Canadian mineral exploration and mining firm—on Tuesday distributed pigeon peas seeds to 1 000 farming families in Phalombe to enable farmers to improve food production in the face of climate change, which has resulted in unreliable rainfall patterns.
Mkango Resources country manager, Burton Kachinjika, said the seed distribution initiative—which is in its fourth year—was started in 2011 as part of efforts to help improve the financial status of people around the area where the firm is exploring rare earths.
Kachinjika said the initiative was aimed at empowering the local farmers and reducing the socio-economic vulnerabilities emanating from climate change by ensuring that every farmer has a cash crop to fall back on.
“And since the chiefs and Nasfam [National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi] told us that pigeon peas (nandolo) is the most reliable cash crop in this part of Phalombe District, we thought our best intervention would be to establish a Seed Revolving Programme to ensure every farming family has seeds every rainy season,” he explained.
Kachinjika said the company bought four tonnes of pigeon peas from Nasfam and has given each farmer four kilogrammes of seed.