Hope Ministries International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has engaged community members in Traditional Authority (T/A) Masumbankhunda in Lilongwe on smart agriculture farming technologies.
Speaking on Wednesday during an intercropping and conservation field day in Malingunde, the organisation’s board member Pike Ng’oma said their project seeks to improve nutritional food values and the social and economic well-being of farming households.
He said the project involves growing various crops on the same plot so they can benefit from the symbiotic relationship.
Said Ng’oma: “The indigenous farming technology uses raised beds with tied ridges which harvest 100 percent of rainfall for plant growth and the plants use the available moistures even during droughts.
“These beds last for years. Mulching is also a major component in the project as it protects the crops from direct heat and also acts as a source of manure for the crops which are grown in mixed cropping style.”
On his part, Malingunde Extension Planning Area (EPA) development officer Alexander Zulu said most households are now producing enough food for sale and consumption.
“Since most households have embraced intercropping and conservation agriculture, malnutrition cases have reduced in the area from 332 in 2017 to 54 this year,” he said.
One of the lead farmers, Alinafe Chiwoza, said his family has improved on food security.
Group village head Mwabwera said his subjects are food-secure and are able to contribute to other development activities.
The organisation is implementing the project with support from Overseas Economic Development Initiative in Lilongwe, Dowa and Blantyre districts.