Smallholder Farmers Bank on TRADE
Smallholder farmers in Thyolo, Blantyre and Dedza have asked authorities to institute some researches to come up with improved breeds and varieties whose produce can be sold in other countries.
Dairy farmer Dorothy Mbikwani from Chimaliro Area in Thyolo and Irish potato farmer from Kasumbu area in Dedza told journalists over the weekend that this can assist to scale up rural livelihoods and the country’ economy.
Mbikwani says her cow is producing only less than three litres of milk per day despite giving it expensive feed.
“We are buying one bag of feed at K13, 000 to feed the cow but the cow is producing very little milk. We need new breeds so that we can be making profit,” complained Mbikwani, a mother of four children.
That aside another farmer, Elias Piringu is asking authorities to provide them with solar power arguing that Mangunda Milk bulking group in Thyolo has so far lost 80, 000 litres due to frequent blackouts.
“Since January to date, we have lost more than K18 million due to power outages. We can’t go on like this. We therefore ask TRADE to assist us so that we can also be in a position so support our families,” explained
On her part, Irish potato farmer Doris Maitala from Kanyama TA Kasumbu in Dedza said farmers need to be provided with improved varieties that can meet the international standards for them to fetch more money.
Meanwhile, An Agriculture and entrepreneurship organization, Transforming Agriculture through Diversification and Entrepreneurship, TRADE Knowledge Management and Communications officer, Oscar Ulili told us that TRADE is ready to promote agriculture commercialization, market linkages and infrastructure development.
“It is encouraging that Smallholder farmers are showing interest to work with TRADE. As an organization, we want to improve sustainable livelihoods in Malawi, enhance agriculture commercialisation, infrastructure development and market linkages,” said Ulili.
He added that TRADE will also enhance value addition and public private partnerships in order to achieve a win-win situation.
TRADE is expecting to spend 125.4 million United States Dollars in 11 districts in the country.