Farmers in Neno have been urged to practice conservation agriculture to maximise crop production and avert the effects of climate change which are aggravated by poor environmental management.
The Hunger Project (THP) Malawi Trustee Rosemary Nhlema made the call at the weekend in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Symon in the district when she awarded certificates to 30 Regenerated Frerian on Literacy Empowerment for Community Techniques (Reflect) facilitators.
The 30 underwent a ten day training in natural resource management.
Through a project called Titukuke ndi chilengedwe ndi magetsi, THP, with funding from Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Malawi, is helping communities through Reflect facilitators to adopt new farming technologies and engage in afforestation programmes to restore the environment in the Shire river catchment area under the Lisungwi Agricultural Extension Area.
And Nhlema said environmental degradation on the Shire river catchment area has led to siltation in the Shire River, disrupting power generation, resulting in frequent power blackouts.
“The situation is dire, we all know how this country has been affected by climate change, hunger everywhere, blackouts is the order of the day, and we cannot progress as a country if we allow the situation to continue,” she said.
Neno District Community Development Officer Roselyn Bvulumende encouraged women to take part in the project, saying they are the most affected by climate change.
“When the water table goes down and there is no water coming out of our boreholes, it is women who walk long distances in search of water. We also all need electricity,” she said.
One of the facilitators Elizabeth Mankhamba said apart from conservation of natural resources, they will also be assisting communities in adult literacy education so that they know how to read, write and count.
She called on chiefs to support the initiative by encouraging their subjects to adopt new farming technologies and discourage wanton cutting down of trees.