SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES RESOLVED RHODA’S FOOD INSECURITY PROBLEM
Rhoda Mbiri comes from Mgogowa village of group village headman Mgongowa, Traditional Authority Kalumo in Ntchisi district. She was born in 1975 and has two female children. Rhoda is one of the hardworking lead farmers under Malawi Zambia (MAZA) project, implemented by Trustees of Agriculture promotion programme with the funding from Development Fund of Norway.
Before the project, Rhoda was experiencing food insecurity in his family. Crop production was hampered by soil infertility enhanced by soil erosion and poor traditional farming practices, such as burning of crop residues. Life was very tough for her before the implementation of the project as a year could not last without hunger problem in her family.
In 2013, Mbiri was identified by the village development committees to be a lead farmer under Malawi Zambia (MAZA) project. As a lead farmer, she attended residential training workshop on sustainable agriculture which has four pillars, namely; soil and water conservation, manure making, conservational agriculture and agro-forestry. Out of these pillars, Mbiri adopted conservational agriculture and manure making in her field.
|Figure 1: Rhoda in her field under manure application||Figure 2: Rhoda’s field under Conservational agriculture|
The adoption of these technologies solved her agricultural problems regarding to soil infertility and dry spells. Before the adoption of the technologies Rhoda could harvest maize of less than 20 bags of 50kgs but with the adoption of the technologies, she harvested 42 bags of 50kgs from the same field. She sold 24 bags of 50kgs at MK3500/bag making MK84000. She topped it up and bought iron sheets to roof her house.