Malawi: Chitipa Warned Against Using Banana Suckers From Other Districts

Chitipa — Karonga Agriculture Development Division (ADD) has warned farmers in Chitipa against using banana suckers from other districts to prevent banana bunchy top disease.

Karonga ADD Deputy Programme Manager, Enock Mzembe, issued the warning Wednesday at Ibanda in Chitipa where the ADD launched its three-step campaign.

The campaign, dubbed the tripartite launch, includes compost manure making, irrigation and animal feed preservation as steps in countering effects of climate change on agriculture.

In an interview after the launch, Mzembe said Chitipa was the only district in the country which is free from Viral Banana Bunchy Top disease.

He said the disease was wiping banana crops in other districts and could spread through aphids or getting suckers from the affected areas.

"Farmers in this district have to desist from getting banana planting materials from other districts.

"This will help the district to remain free from Bunchy Top disease which has no remedy other than uprooting the crops once they have been affected," he said.

Commenting on the tripartite launch, Mzembe said the campaign would promote agricultural production without reliance on annual rains.

"An agro-based economy like Malawi will benefit a lot from the three interventions we have launched today.

"Through the interventions, farmers will increase their production with locally available resources," said Mzembe.

Vice Chairperson for Chitipa District Council, Mercy Mpoha, commended Karonga ADD for the tripartite campaign in the district, saying it was the right approach in ensuring food security.

"Agriculture remains the most important sector for the socio-economic development of Malawi.

"Interventions in the agricultural sector such as the ones launched here have a strong influence on the rate of economic growth for the country," Mpoha said.

The Tripartite campaign was launched under the theme 'Soil nutrient restoration, irrigation farming and feed preservation: Key to climate change resilience'.

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