Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda has asked farmers to desist from “usual old farming methods”.
Chaponda said this in Lilongwe on Thursday when he opened the 2016 National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (Nasfam) Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Held under the theme: Climate Smart Agriculture in Malawi: Smallholder Farmers’ Opportunities and Constraints in Scaling Out, the meeting drew farmers and farmer groups from the country’s 28 districts.
The minister observed that the majority of farmers in the country just apply climate change interventions on demonstration plots and continue using ancient farming methods in other gardens.
He said this frustrates efforts to beat adverse effects of climate change.
Said Chaponda: “Malawi as a country, and the world as whole, is overwhelmed with the devastating impact of climate change that is hitting us very hard. We all know that climate change is real, and agro-based economies like Malawi are heavily affected.
“In case we may forget, for the past few years Malawi has experienced unprecedented occurrences of climatic shocks such as floods and drought. A recent case is the current situation in our country where over 6.7 million people are in dire need of food because of the devastating droughts that Malawi went through in the last growing season,” he said.
Nasfam board chairperson Maggie Phiri said besides mobilising farmers into organised groups, the association is providing different services targeting all critical aspects of the value chains that its members participate.
Nasfam chief executive officer Dyborn Chibonga said the association is working hard to promote modern technologies among farmers under the climate smart agriculture.
Royal Norwegian Embassy, Irish Aid, European Union, United Stated Aid for International Development (USaid) are some of the organisations that are supporting Nasfam. n