Written by: Naomi Langisi
Karonga Director of Agriculture Environment and Natural Resources Raphael Mkisi says there is high expectation that farmers in the district will have a 25 percent increase in crop harvesting this year due to Affordable Farm Input Programme (AIP) and good rainfall pattern that the district has experienced this year.
Speaking in an interview, Mkisi said the increase in harvesting will go a long way in addressing food insecurity among the households in the district thereby by reducing cases of malnutrition more especially among pregnant mothers and the under five children.
“We are receiving very good rains and apart from having bumper yield of maize, we are also anticipating that the district will have a 20 percent increase in rice production that will assist the people of Karonga inform of food and income,” he said.
However, Mkisi has urged farmers to start planning and budgeting properly so that their families should have enough bags of maize and rice for their consumption up to the next farming season before they start selling the crops.
One of the farmers in Karonga Rickson Mwangonde said the increase in production will improve their living standards and will give them a motivation to grow more in the next farming season.
“You will agree with me that every farmer expect to benefit from his own sweat by among other things find their own basic needs. Now when we hear of an increase in harvesting to us it is a good news because farming these is a business on its own,” he said.
Mwangonde then asked government to come up with good selling prices of their produce and create markets where farmers can easily sell their farm produce.
Over 60,000 households in Karonga had access to AIP that the government introduced.