Chikwawa — Farmers under Group Village Head Muonda in Senior Chief Chapananga were on Friday challenged to take agriculture as business and not merely a source of food.
The call was made during campaign launch for Manure Utilization, Irrigation and Feed Preservation Program.
Speaking during the launch, Shire Valley Agriculture Development Division Chief Agriculture Extension Officer, Donald Ghambi asked all farmers and other partners to consider economic profit and not accounting cost so that their dreams of being merchants become a reality.
Ghambi therefore asked the farmers to utilize Kadunga Irrigation Scheme in the area which he said had all new agricultural practices.
"As you can see within the scheme, there is use of mixed cropping, inter cropping and minimum tillage and also dead and green mulching.
"I have seen crop rotation which means there is no host to diseases of tomatoes, beans and maize in the same field.
"Insects such as butterflies can't attack maize stalk because of the smell from beans and tomatoes. At the end of it all, there will be more sales because we will have more crops at once, thereby enhancing agribusiness," said Ghambi.
Commenting on the development, Senior Chief Chapananga asked government and other partners to consider assisting Kadunga Irrigation Scheme with solar power pump.
"These farmers use wells and treadle pumps which put more pressure on them. It is our plea that you assist us with a solar powered irrigation pump which will enable farmers to attend to other tasks within the scheme and in the process improving our produce," said the Senior Chief.
One of the farmers, Stephan Shant said through Kadunga Irrigation Scheme his family has seen positive progress.
"I have managed to pay fees for my kids as well as buying iron sheets just to mention a few," he said.
Member of Parliament for the area, Susan Dossi commended organizations implementing agribusiness-related activities in the district.
She said the project is in line with the country's President Professor Peter Mutharika's vision that no one dies of hunger.
The 2019/2020 Chikwawa District campaign launch for Manure Utilization, Irrigation and Feed Preservation was done with support from Goal Malawi, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as well as Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS).