Students have been encouraged to use science to come up with solutions which can deal with challenges that smallholder farmers face in their fields.
This was said at the opening of two day summit for Agriculture Transformation Initiative (ATI) at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe under the theme “The role of inclusive Science, Technology and Innovation in Driving Agricultural Transformation”.
During the opening of the summit, different learners from different primary and secondary Schools showcased their innovations such as groundnut pluckers and groundnut mills.
Speaking with reporters, ATI Country Director Candida Nankhumwa said they are looking at agriculture diversification by supporting locally made mechanisms that can be useful to farmers.
Nankhumwa added that they want to encourage groundnuts farmers to stop doing things manually and instead to start using technologies.
“We are encouraging students to see the problems which farmers are facing and be creative to come up with new technologies that can reduce labor for the farmers. Our students have skills, they can make plucking groundnuts machines, groundnuts mills to reduce this labor,” she explained.
According to Nankhumwa, students have to be more creative to contribute in different areas that agriculture requires to support farmers deal with the challenges they are facing.
Nankhumwa went on to say that they are aware that there are some innovative things out there but the challenge is the affordability of the mechanisms to the smallholder farmers.
She then urged the education sector to revise science skills by allowing youths to contribute positively towards agriculture sector starting from primary schools.