The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Malawi on Thursday held a winter seed fair in Waluma Extension Planning Area (EPA) in the area of Traditional Authority Nkhumba in Phalombe where farmers received seeds.
The fair which was aimed at equipping subsistence farmers with starter pack seeds for irrigation farming saw 900 beneficiaries from over 10 villages receiving 2 kilograms of maize seeds and 10 grams vegetables seed packs each.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, ADRA International’s Programs Officer Helena Souders encouraged the beneficiaries to replant in their gardens where the rain fed farming did not do well.
“We hope that irrigation farming can save the 900 households from certain hunger as currently they are sure not to harvest enough from their farms due to dry spells and armyworms that affected their area,” said Souders.
She added that it was her organization’s hope that the beneficiaries would ensure that the two disasters that hit their area should not cause malnutrition among children in their households due to lack of nutritious foods.
Among other things, the organization is encouraging farmers to embrace climate smart agriculture practices in an initiative known as Increasing Mitigation Productivity and Adaptation through Climate-smart Techniques (IMPACT).
Commenting on the seed fair, Agriculture Extension Development Officer for Waluma EPA Olive Makamba commended ADRA Malawi for the fair which she said would rescue the farmers.
Makamba further asked ADRA to consider providing the farmers with irrigation technologies such as treadle pumps in order to complement the provision of seeds through such fairs.
In the fair, ADRA Malawi paid agro-dealers who in turn handed out seeds to farmers for free during the event.