The Civil Society Network on Climate Change (Cisonecc) has intensified the promotion of disease and pest resistant crop varieties in Chiweta, Rumphi to encourage women farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture.
The area, whose staple crop is cassava, has been attacked by different pests and diseases, forcing the farmers to start growing maize.
But Cisonecc has intervened by training women farmers in the area in adopting the use of clean cassava and sweet potato varieties.
Speaking during the training on Tuesday, Cisonecc programme officer Collins Mitochi said the organisation is working with 500 women in Chiweta Extension Planning Area (EPA) on seed multiplication and storage of Mathuthu sweet potatoes and cassava.
“We have brought in our Sauti type of cassava tubers which is resistant to diseases and pests. We are trying to encourage women farmers to use this breed,” explained Mitochi.
On his part, Agricultural Extension Development Coordinator (AEDC) for Ntchenachena EPA in the district, who was facilitating the training, Kondwani Ngwira said the training followed a request by the women in the area to train them in cassava and fortified potatoes cultivation.
Principal group village head Kamphonya of Chiweta said her area has been greatly affected by pests and diseases in cassava fields; hence, the training will help the women in recovering their lost crop.