Malawi: Fisheries Department Hails Farmers' Field Schools

Kasungu — Farmers Field Schools (FFS) have been described as crucial in the country's agriculture development as they allow extension workers and scientists to work together in producing vital knowledge and localized solutions to problems.

Director of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Friday Njaya said this on Thursday during a graduation ceremony of 35 farmers and 35 extension workers at Lisasadzi in Kasungu who have been attending the farmer field schools for the last 14 weeks.

"As Ministry of Agriculture, we take these kinds of training seriously as farmers and researchers develop technologies that are relevant.

"The technologies that are being developed are very specific and since they are developed by the farmers, they stick in their minds," said Njaya.

He said technologies will be able to improve agriculture in the country as the farmers and extension workers will impart the knowledge to other farmers in the districts where they are coming from.

The training was supported by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and European Union (EU) who also helped revamp irrigation infrastructure and carried out maintenance works of water system at Lisasadzi to be used by farmers' field schools.

FAO Representative, Zhijun Chen said farmers in the country need relevant technologies and skills, and that through the farmers-field- school initiative participants had acquired them.

"The FFS approach is a vehicle for agriculture extension to deliver proven technology and experiences and practices to the farmers," said Chen.

The farmers and extension workers were drawn from Mchinji, Nkhotakota, Salima and Kasungu.

FFS supports the two priority areas of the National Agriculture Policy namely sustainable agriculture production and productivity and food and nutrition security.

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