Some women farmers in Rumphi say they have more than doubled their crop harvest this year after adopting climate smart agriculture technologies to mitigate effects of climate change.
The women are reaping the benefits of a project by Centre for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (Cepa) in collaboration with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare which supported 90 rural smallholder female farmers as direct beneficiaries and 180 indirect beneficiaries in Rumphi with $25 000 (about K18 million) in the last six months.
Speaking during a monitoring tour on Thursday, Tinkhani Gondwe from Jumbo Village, Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe, said she has harvested 16 bags of maize weighing 50 kilogramme (kg) each compared to last year’s six from half an acre.
She said this has been possible because of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices such as pit planting, use of Mbeya manure, intercropping, improved and adaptive crop varieties and agro-forestry.
“I harvested more this year despite the dry spell at some point. But I would have harvested more than this,” she said.
Another farmer, Juliet Zgambo, said they expect to be food secure this year due to a bumper harvest.
“In the past, we could not harvest enough because we lacked knowledge on how to make manure. We ended up depending on inorganic fertiliser which is expensive,” she said.
Cepa project officer Elizabeth Namaona said the project has also empowered women with entrepreneurship skills to venture into various businesses.
Rumphi district gender officer Joshua Luhana said the project has made meaningful impact on communities, especially on women in agriculture participation and food security.