Renew’N’Able Malawi (Renama), a local non-governmental organisation, has launched a six-month agroforestry project to promote tree-planting to increase yields in previously depleted soils in Mlambuzi Village, Traditional Authority Bvumbwe in Thyolo.
Renama has also distributed fertiliser trees—those that boost crop productivity when grown alongside crops—and fruit trees to 30 farming families it is working with in the project and about 100 farming families in schemes.
In an interview during the launch on Monday, Renama programmes manager Devine Matare said the project, funded by German-based Nature Fund, will be implemented in Bvumbwe, mainly for two reasons.
He said: “The first reason is that Renama is actively involved in the area where it is already implementing several projects.
“Secondly, this project was piloted last year in partnership with another organisation here at Bvumbwe, but in another community not Mlambuzi.”
Matare said they want to install a solar pump in another area to enable farmers irrigate their crops and stop relying on rain-fed agriculture.
In his remarks at the launch, Thyolo District Agricultural Office land resources conservation officer Akusainda Siska encouraged beneficiaries to take care of the trees to realise full benefits from them.
He said: “Make sure that you use the knowledge and skills imparted by agriculture extension workers in taking care of these trees.
“Renama has possibly invested a lot of money in this project and the least you can do is take care of these trees.”
Group village head Mlambuzi thanked Renama for the project, observing that people in her area have had many years of poor harvest because their plots lost nutrients due to over- farming and flooding.