Ministry Touts Farmer Field Schools
A senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture has hailed farmer field schools, describing them as catalysts for enhancement of extension services in Malawi.
Director of Extension Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Jerome Nkhoma, says these schools are established in villages and they offer various modern farming technologies which if adopted will boost food production at household and national levels.
“As a country we are facing a number of challenges in agriculture sector, one of them being low adoption of technologies because farmers do not probably understand clearly the technologies,” said Dr. Nkhoma.
Last Friday, 33 community-based facilitators and 31 master trainers who are government agricultural extension workers graduated with certificates after undergoing intensive training in farmer field school concept the past four months at Thuchira Rural Training Centre in Mulanje.
They were drawn from Thyolo, Mulanje and Chiradzulo districts.
A Community Based Facilitator from Muonekera section in Matapwata Extension Planning Area in Thyolo, Paul Dishon, said his task is to reach out to 900 farmers with the knowledge gained during the training.
“We have learnt a lot of technologies during the training and we believe that once shared with fellow farmers back home and we all adopt these technologies, food insecurity will be a thing of the past in our families, malnutrition will be defeated and our income levels will rise,” said Dishon.
According to Resident Master Trainer Chicco Kayange, basically farmer field school training focuses on skills and knowledge to identify and solve farming challenges and enhance food production amidst climate change.