FIGHTING HUNGER THROUGH BETTER METHODS OF FARMING
Mrs Velinas Manda, aged 49, is a widow and hails from Kazonga village, Group Village Head Kazonga of Traditional Authority (TA) Malenga in Ntchisi District. She has been experiencing food shortage for many years due to poor harvest because of the effects of climate change and also insufficient money to buy enough farm inputs like fertilizer and improved seeds.
With the coming in of SALFP project which is implemented by Trustees of Agriculture Promotion Programme, she was selected by members of her village to be a lead farmer and she was trained on Sustainable Agriculture Practices in August last year where she acquired knowledge on Soil and Water Conservation, Manure making, Conservation Agriculture and Agro forestry. With that knowledge, she managed to make 10 heaps of bocash manure, 20 litres of liquid manure and has grown maize on 0.2ha using conservation agriculture practice and she has follower farmers who are also practicing this new technology on their farms.
Mrs Velinasi Manda has a story tell about how she managed to save money which was used to pay peace workers and buying fertilizer for her crops. With the use of sustainable agriculture technologies she managed to save MK 14,000 for weeding and ridging because of conservation agriculture (total mulching) and she also saved MK 15,000 which was supposed to buy inorganic fertilizer since she has used bocashi manure as basal dressing fertiliser and liquid manure as top dressing fertiliser and the money saved has been used to buy other household items. She continued narrating on other benefits obtained in sustainable agriculture that it saves time, it improves soil structure when maize stalks mulched decompose, it helps in keeping moisture during dry spells and also reduces soil erosion.
Mrs. Manda hopes this year she will have bumper yield if the rains complete well and this will help her to have enough food for the whole year and she plans to increase the area with conservation agriculture and make more manure in order to continue saving a lot of money.