National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam) has encouraged farmers in Ntcheu District to scale up pigeon peas production.
Speaking on Saturday at Manjawira Extension Planning Area during a field day, Nasfam field officer Rex Namalima said pigeon peas production is cheap compared with other crops.
He said: “Despite erratic rainfall, pigeon peas farmers are able to harvest in abundance.
“Again, pigeon peas are nitrogen fixers, as such, they add soil fertility.”
Namalima said they organised farmers into group action committees to ease communication challenges.
He said: “We then provided quality Mwaiwathu Alimi pigeon peas seeds to farmers.
“They will also return the pigeon peas after harvesting.”
Namalima said they want to multiply the Mwaiwathu Alimi seed so that many farmers have an opportunity to grow this type of high-yielding and pest-resistant variety.
One of the farmers, Leonard Mbemba, from Manjawira Village in sub-Traditional Authority Tsikulamowa, said he ventured into pigeon peas farming due to its low production cost.
“We don’t need expensive fertilisers to grow pigeon peas and it’s not labour intensive,” he said.
Manjawira assistant agriculture extension development coordinator Foster Khonje said pigeon peas is one of the crops that fixes nitrogen and fights witch weed (kaufiti).
“It is also a good source of protein. We encouragefarmers to get in clubs to access loans and extension services,” he said.