Chikwawa district is facing critical shortage of extension workers, a situation Agriculture authority in the district says has greatly affected agricultural output.
Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural resources for the District, Donald Ghambi has confirmed the development saying of the required 124 extension workers, the district has only 47.
Ghambi said this has resulted in most farmers in the district not being reached out with modern farming methods, resulting in the low crop productivity.
He disclosed this at a graduation ceremony of master trainers and lead farmers held in the district on Wednesday.
“As a district we indeed have got limited number of extension workers. This has affected our extension delivery system in the district as most farmers are not able to access timely modern farming methods” said Ghambi.
He however expressed optimism with the training of Master Trainers and the community-based facilitators whom he said are expected to train other farmers through a concept of famers field school.
District Commissioner for Chikwawa Ali Phiri also expressed worry with the limited number of extension workers in the district.
Innocent Kaponya, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Southern Region Coordinator whose organisation is facilitating trainings of Master trainers in the district, said his organization’s desire to ensure that extension workers in the district are well knowledgeable.
The organization has donated 71 bicycles and 41 motorbikes to the master trainers and lead farmers to ease their mobility challenges.