When the recent cyclones, Ana and Gombe, hit people of traditional authority Jenala in Phalombe district, Brenda Mtimawina and hundreds others were hopeless as they expected to have nothing in their maize fields.
Little did Brenda and other few people from Dzuwa village in the area know that signs are there that they would at least harvest some maize.
The mother of three children and her colleagues used new farming technologies including sasakawa maize planting that help the roots to go deep into the soil.
“Water was everywhere in this field, I never imagined that I would have seen maize cobs like these ones, the agricultural extension worker here once told us that sasakawa helps in such times now I believe.
“All this area was covered with water which came due to flooding of Phalombe river, we never had hope that we would be assured of harvesting maize here,” said Brendah.
Another farmer in the area, Seven Gostas, concurred with Brenda that new technologies of cultivating crops that agricultural extension workers teach have been helpful as evidenced by his field where the maize is promising.
“I followed sasakawa planting technology, now I am going to harvest maize close to 10 bags weighing 50 kilogrammes from this field, I urge my fellow villagers that we should be practicing what the extension workers tell us,” he said.
Village head Dzuwa said he is delighted that people who followed what the extension workers in the area had have been telling them may escape hunger.
“Despite that few farmers will harvest a little something, but I can say here that we are likely to be hit by hunger. Many households’ maize fields were badly affected with the floods that came due to those cyclones.
“But as a leader I am a bit happy to see that some farmers who follow what officers from agriculture office teach us will harvest something, I will be encouraging them time and again that we need to be following such teachings,” he said.
Phalombe District Agricultural Development Officer, David Alli, admitted that the cyclones indeed have affected people in the district including traditional authority Jenala but he is impressed with the farmers who are using new farming technologies.
Ali said a few people are assured of harvesting some maize that may sustain them for a short period of time.
“You may see the fields of those farmers who are using new farming technologies that at least they are assured of harvesting something, this is what we recommend for people to be practicing in this district,” said Alli.