Eighty farmers from Irrigation Schemes in the area of Senior Chief Nkhulambe in Phalombe were all smiles when Phalombe District Council through the Department of Irrigation trained them in crucial aspects of irrigation farming.
The farmers who were drawn from Tithaniwa, Thambe and Likatcha Irrigation Schemes received their certificates after successfully acquiring knowledge on scheme management, group dynamics, and scheme operation and maintenance.
Speaking during the certificate awarding ceremony, District Commissioner for Phalombe Harry Phiri said the lessons that the farmers had attained were expected to be a huge boost to the way they produce their farm products, and were likely to register impact on food security in the district.
“The area of Senior Chief Nkhulambe is the food basket of the whole district if the truth be told; as such boosting these farmers’ productivity through sharpening their knowledge and skills in irrigation farming will positively affect our food productivity and security as people from sides where food production is low will be able to buy the surplus produced here,” said the DC who also handed over the certificates.
He further advised the farmers to avoid taking long vacations after harvesting, saying real farmers do not go on holiday because they understand that they have a nation to feed.
Speaking prior to the Commissioner, District Irrigation Officer for Phalombe Kingston Mkandawire said government through the Malawi Flood and Emergency Recovery Project (MFERP) provided an opportunity for the farmers to be trained in order for them to be more knowledgeable of the irrigation system which has potential of saving Malawi from frequent hunger situations.
One of the farmers, 60 year old Elizabeth Julius of Tithaniwa Scheme, said through irrigation farming she has been able to feed and provide all other necessities to her family of 6 children and 6 grandchildren.
Julius hoped that with the lessons she had attained to earn the certificate she will be able to do more because the lessons were advanced.
Phalombe district has 1200 hectares covered in irrigation activities from which farmers produce among others maize, beans, peas and tomatoes.