NASFAM Appeals to Farmers to Diversify
The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) has encouraged smallholder farmers in Balaka to engage in different value chains such as soy beans, groundnuts, sorghum, cotton besides pigeon peas to be food secure.
NASFAM's Field Officer, Rex Namalima, said this during a field day at Manjawira Extension Planning Area (EPA) showcasing the benefits of early maturity variety of "mwaiwathu alimi pigeon peas."
Namalima told Zodiak that from the scene, it came out clear that the land that was planted with pigeon peas had plenty of biomass.
"Being an early maturity variety, it has started drying this time of the year," he said.
Manjawira EPA agricultural extension worker, Foster Khonje, said farmers in the area have benefited a lot such that many through the same farming have built upgraded houses.
"This is a hybrid crop of pigeon peas and it grows with any climate and topography as you can see," said Khonje.
"We encourage farmers to be self-reliant as this crop is very nutritious and marketable," added Khonje.
NASFAM and other organizations have stepped up efforts to encourage farmers in Balaka district to diversify considering the unpredictable climate.