BREAKING THROUGH IN CONSERVATION AGRICULTURE:
Mr Paulo Ng’ondola aged 52, is married to Rose and has 1 child and he hails from Ntchela village, in Group village headman Chipuka in Traditional Authority Kalumo in Ntchisi District. Mr Ng’ondola is one of the best follower farmers participating in the Sustainable Agriculture Lead Farmer Project (SALFP) implemented by Trustees of Agriculture Promotion Programme with funding from Development Fund of Norway (DFN).
Before the project was implemented in his area, Mr. Ng’ondola experienced a lot of challenges in farming practices because convention farming involves the turning up of soil as opposed to conservation farming. So for him, being physically challenged person he was finding it very hard to cultivate the land up to one hector and food production was hampered by loss of soil fertility due to soil erosion and poor traditional farming practices like burning of crop residues when preparing land for planting.
“Before the project, life was very unbearable I could not manage to cultivate one hector since turning up of the soil requires a lot of energy and being lame is also a challenge,” Mr. Ng’ondola narrates.
Thank God that in 2014, Ntchela was one of the villages which were selected to participate in the SALFP project and Mr. Samson David was selected by the project village development committee to participate in the SALFP project as a lead farmer. As a lead farmer, Mr. David attended residential training workshop on Sustainable Agriculture organized by TAPP. At the end of the training he was assigned to recruit follower farmers and Mr Ng’ondola was one of the selected follower farmers and he was also trained on by Mr Samison David in Several Smart Agriculture practices.
Among several technologies which were introduced in the area, Mr Ng’ondola showed a keen interest in adopting Conservation Agriculture. He is now a happy farmer because looking at his crop stand under CA he is very optimistic that CA is going to achieve sustainable increase in crop yields and thereby empowering him to be food secured at his household level.
“I also see the technology as a long-term solution to improving soil structure and nutrient retention as a result of decomposed crop residues used as land cover,” Stated by Mr. Ng’ondola.
He is also happy that the technology helps to reduce weed occurrence thereby reducing both time and labor cost spent for weeding. He has now enough time during the agricultural season to do some other equally important livelihoods activities.
|Mr.Paulo Ng’ondola, in his field smiling at his crop that is doing well under CA||Mr.Paulo Ng’ondola’s Maize Field under CA|
Mr. Ng’ondola has cautioned his fellow farmers who view CA as a very tiresome activity to stop that backwardness and move forward “it is only when you try it collectively with your family the job becomes so easy.”