Women under Tovwirane Irrigation Scheme in Mzimba have hailed Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (Gewe) programme for equipping them with irrigation farming expertise.
The project is implemented by the Ecumenical Counselling Centre (ECC) while the training was provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
Speaking during a field tour of Mzimba last weekend, ECC project coordinator Lemani Kayira said the trainees are practising conservation agriculture.
He said: “The women who were trained last year are now practising crop diversification and some have intensified irrigation farming. This has gone well given the unreliable rains we are experiencing.
“I think it is important to prepare our communities, especially now when we are feeling the impact of climate change. We have come to realise that climate change has come to stay and we must diversify ways of mitigating and adapting to this change and teaching these women is a good step.”
One of the beneficiaries, Kelfesi Theu, said she earned a K30 000 (about $445) profit from the first harvest and has over 300 tomato seedlings this year.
She said she has a two-acre piece of land on which she has planted maize under irrigation.
“This has been a good project for us women. For instance, I am a widow and have five children and this project has boosted my household. I am no longer the laughing stock of the community,” said Theu.
The programme aims at reducing gender inequalities between men, women, boys and girls. n