Dowa Tobacco Farmers Making Huge Profits from Diversified Crop Production
Moses Phiri is a tobacco grower in Madisi Extension Planning Area in Dowa who, for the first time this year, supplemented tobacco with production of maize and vegetables.
He is a happy man now after realizing a profit of 1.6 million Kwacha.
He says "In three months a made 1.6 million kwacha after selling my tomato, vegetables, onions, and green maize."
Phiri is one of those now benefiting from an initiative for crop diversification among tobacco growers.
The initiative, bankrolled by multinational Phillip Morris International, is being implemented by Pyxus Agriculture Limited under Alliance One Tobacco Malawi.
Through the initiative, growers are grouped and assisted in irrigation farming.
Pyxus Agriculture International Project Coordinator, Samuel Kaputa, says "in view of the plummeting gains growers are making at the tobacco auction floors, diversifying farming could once more increase gains for smallholder tobacco growers in this country."
According to Kaputa, the organization has installed irrigation pumps on 33 hectares of land in Dowa and Kasungu districts.
Eighty percent of this is drip irrigation systems and the rest of the land is under pivot irrigation.
The sources of water for the irrigation projects include Bua, Lussa, and Kasangadzi rivers.