SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE, ANSWER TO IMPROVED HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
Gladies Bwanali, a mother of 6 children; 4 girls and 2 boys was identified as a lead farmer in the year 2014 by the Village Headman Sangu and the community members in Dowa district. She attended a 5 days residential training in Sustainable Agriculture at Mponela RTC which was conducted by TAPP under SALFP project.
“I have been trained in making and application of compost manure, intergration of agro-forestry trees, forest regeneration and other sustainable agriculture technologies that will tremendously increase my crop production “ stated Gladies proudly. She revealed that due to these trainings, her yields have doubled this year and she is optimistic that she will have enough food throughout the year”.
|Gladies Bwanali to the left in her 0.4 ha and to right she is in her 0.25ha woodlot where she established cassias trees||Gladies Bwanali feeding her chickens|
She said that at first other farmers could not understand why she was putting maize stalks in her field and they also told her that making compost manure, digging pits and mulching was a waste of time but she never listened to them because she was so eager to practice what she had learnt during the five days SALFP training. She smilingly explained that she now has 36 follower farmers; 20 females and 16 males and those other farmers who were saying that she was wasting time in practicing Sustainable Agriculture practices are now appreciating the wonders of this farming technology. Boastingly, she added that her friends are always admiring her bumper maize in the field which is a sign that she will harvest more yields this year as compared to the previous years before she underwent the SALFP project training.
“In addition to sustainable agricultural practices training, I also attended 3 days farm training in poultry management facilitated by the same project and this month, I have received 25 chickens which I will pass-on to my follower farmers,” Bwanali said.
She happily narrated that she is expecting to produce even more come the next growing season because she will apply poultry manure into her crop fields and her household income will also increase due to the income realized from selling of eggs and chickens in the near future.