29 Metric Tons of Soil Lost Yearly in Neno

A farmer showing modern farming technologies A farmer showing modern farming technologies - pic by Steve Kalungwe

Players in the Agriculture sector in Neno say the district is losing 29 metric tonnes of soil per hectare per year due to unsafe agricultural activities and deforestation where steep slopes, river banks and forests are being cleared for cultivation.

This was revealed yesterday, Tuesday, at an event launching the District Council Catchment Conservation campaign where a number of stakeholders and farmer field school members showcased their operations through field visits and pavilions.

Addressing a gathering at Old Chipiku football ground, Neno District Principal Agriculture officer Mayamiko Diana Zambezi said that the degrading of the soil is resulting in food insecurity in most households hence a call for conservation agriculture to improve soil fertility and food productivity.

"I appeal to all of you here to practice climate smart agriculture and forestry conservation in order to have enough food and also use the environment like forests for beekeeping which could boost your household income base," said the PAO.

She, however, urged chiefs from senior chief, traditional authorities, group village heads and the rest to relaunch the campaign in their respective areas saying it was important for every one to understand the role that nature play in food security.

Taking their turn, Bernard Chonde and Ruth Nsinga, farmer field school famers say there is a benefit in conservation agriculture where farmers are being encouraged to construct contour ridges, swales and use environmentally friendly cooking energy like briquettes.

They collaborated each other saying "for example in beekeeping, we plant trees to restore the soils nutrients and reclaim forestry cover while on the same we get mature from falling tree leaves and mount our beehives where we generate money from when we sell the honey".

Neno District Council Land Resource Conservation officer Vincent Sambuka cautioned farmers against the use of charcoal for cooking energy. He encouraged the use of briquettes and environmentally friendly heaters.

The event was not short of challenges to the efforts of conserving the environment where Catchment Management Committee chairperson Steve Donda said that 17 thousand tree seedlings were planted last year but some farmers are still waiting to receive "Matching Grant's this year.

"82 million kwacha was given this year to utilize for development in Matching Grants initiative but in the Alimi Tisamale Chilengedwe project farmers are still waiting for grants. A total of 3, 200 families are on the waiting list which if given they would be transformed and lots of trees planted.

Meanwhile, Neno District Commissioner Hudson Kuphanga has called on the youths to utilize the Neno Youth Development Centre as a way of empowering the youths economically and advised to desist from immoral behaviors.

He also condemned the behavior of some outsiders who are flocking to the district to unlawfully harvesting "Tsanya tree" for charcoal production and timber.

The DC then asked chiefs to be tolerant and avoid chieftaincy wrangles as development is being derailed and people are afraid to launch development activities in their areas with Traditional Authority Chekucheku and Senior chief Symon being examples.

"In these areas development is lagging behind and issues of malnutrition and destruction to the environment is rampant as there is no leadership to look after these issues", said Kuphanga.

He then condemned parents who are forcing their children into early marriages for their own benefit. "If you educate a girl child, you educate the whole nation" he reminded the parents of the saying.

The activity was organized by the Neno Agriculture Sector through the District Agriculture Extension Coordinating Committee. 

Read 1186 times

Last modified on Wednesday, 28/06/2023

Login to post comments
Go to top
JSN Time 2 is designed by JoomlaShine.com | powered by JSN Sun Framework