Tue. Sep 17th, 2019

Farmer field schools to promote communities

Written By Nora Phiri
The Government of Malawi has trained 30 master trainers and community based facilitators respectively in the northern region, to promote food, nutrition and income sustainability.
Speaking Friday at Mzuzu Residential Training Centre,Director of Agriculture Extension Services under Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Jerome Nkhoma, said master trainers course would enable extension workers to implement farmer field schools.
“Farmer field school is one of approaches used to improve adoption of technologies by farmers. Our expectation is that when the graduates go back to their respective sessions, they are going to establish farmer field schools.
“Through those farmer field schools, farmers will be able to interact with scientists, subject matter specialists and be able to solve problems that they are facing in agricultural development, hence an increase of yields and livestock,” Nkhoma said.
According to Nkhoma high productivity would promote farmers’ socio-economic development in their localities.
“Farmers will produce more food, will have more to sell and more to eat. In terms of nutrition they will be much better because they are practicing integrated agriculture and food diversification which will give six food groups.
“They sell more of their foods and they get more money and this money will be used to meet other household needs in their own localities,” he added.
Meanwhile President for community based facilitators, during the training, Gentry Gondwe, said the initiative will reduce malnutrition levels in his area, Mzimba South, where he said is one of hardest hit.
“This program will help to reduce stunting levels in Kamteteka Section where I come from, because people will be practicing child food diversification so that their children grow healthier.
Master Trainer’s President at Mzuzu RTC, Webster Kanyimbo, also said during a 13 week training, he has managed to acquire several skills like mushroom production, and different ways how to grow crops.
“In the villages we normally go out in the bush and fetch for mushroom. We did not know that we can raise some structures which can provide suitable environment for mushroom production.
“We have learnt quite a number of technologies more especially pertaining to crops. With this course we now know that a crop can grow anywhere as long as you transform the environment,” Kanyimbo said.
Master Trainers and Community Based Facilitators graduated on the theme of empowering farmers to attain food, nutrition and income security sustainability.
The initiative is implemented with the help from European Union and jointly implemented by FAO and Malawi government in 10 districts across the country.

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