By Carren Mumba
Agricultural extension workers and lead farmers in Rumphi have been challenged to adopt the re-introduced local technologies as one of mitigation measures in tackling adverse effects of climate change.
Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Dr Horace Phiri made the call on the sidelines of a two day training workshop for extension workers and lead farmers.
Phiri said his institution interacted with local farmers to get the experiences from the competitive plant screen concept, under Capacity Building for Managing Climate Change (CABMACC) being implemented in the area.
“Under the program, we had what we call the competitive plant screen where we funded projects that were trying to develop testing knowledge that can help farmers manage climate change whether to adapt to climate change or mitigate climate change.
“From the experiences we have from these farmers, we now want each and every farmer to adapt to these technologies in order to ease issues of climate change,” explained Phiri.
He also observed that apart from biogas technology farmers can embrace re-introduction of indigenous crops that are resilient.
“Our forefathers used to stay up to 100 years because they used to eat indigenous vegetables, without chemicals. This is why we re-introduced crops like Therere (Okra), Luni and others,” he said.
On her part, an extension worker from Bolero, Shallon Shaba said knowledge from the training would help resolve problems that have come with climate change.
“At first we have had a problem on how to control parasites such as ticks in our livestock, but now from the knowledge we have gained through this training, the problem is over.
“With tobacco leaves and any local soap water, all the ticks are gone. It is easy, all farmers can manage,” said Shaba.
Meanwhile District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO), Lumbani Msiska said farmers have been assisted and that the training will help to promote farmers to use the technologies brought to them.
“Our farmers have been assisted in terms of firewood with the coming in of Biogas at the same time we are reducing the impact of cutting down of trees for energy.
He further said his office would engage supervisory visits to make sure farmers put in practice what they have learnt so far and supporting them technically on how they can go about it if they lack knowledge somewhere,” Msiska said.