Rumphi agricultural development officer Yaz Nyirenda has confirmed prospects of a bumper harvest following a project in which only productive farmers received subsidised farm inputs.
The initiative, being trialled in Rumphi and Dowa, marks a shift from traditional Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp) in aid of the elderly, the ultra poor and vulnerable groups.
During a field day at Katowo on Tuesday, Nyirenda said the pilot project will bring higher yield.
“The programme has been effective because we targeted only those who have shown proof that they are farmers. Our field visits have shown that the 15 400 farmers will have sufficient yield for the district and sell surplus to other districts,” he said.
Nyirenda said the traditional Fisp sometimes target individuals who have no farms and those who are no longer productive.
The groups in poverty have been put on other social protection programmes, including social cash transfer and relief initiatives.
Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division (Mzadd) programme manager Wellington Phewa was optimistic that Rumphi, Mzimba and Nkhata Bay districts will have a bumper harvest despite an outbreak of fall armyworms.
Albert Changaya, the controller of agriculture extension and technical services, said there is need to harmonise messages and use lead farmers to increase the uptake of sustainable farming methods amid effects of climate change.