Mulanje District Council is implementing a soil conservation project with K18 million (about $53 000) from the Local Development Fund (LDF).
District agriculture development officer (Dado) Sheila Kang’ombe said in an e-mail interview that the project covers the whole district.
“The soil and water conservation project targets areas that are prone to soil degradation, dry spell and flash floods. The project involves rainwater harvesting techniques and activities that prevent soil erosion.
“Some of the activities people are doing include permanent pit planting, conservation agriculture, construction of swalleys, marker ridges, pegging and vertiver grass planting,” said Kang’ombe.
She said the project aims at improving household food security, nutrition and incomes by increasing farm productivity through prevention of surface run off and general soil degradation.
Kang’ombe said the project has so far benefited 4 300 farmers and over 30 hectares have been conserved.
Malawi is an agro-based economy with most of its farmers relying on rain-fed agriculture.
But the country’s productivity in agriculture has been declining due to, among other things, lack of capital, poor farming techniques, overreliance on rain, high cost of farm inputs such as seeds and fertiliser, climate change and general land degradation.