CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE PRACTICES KEY TO INCREASED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION
“I almost gave up farming in 2018, because despite all the efforts I was putting into it, I was still not able to make ends meet. I used to harvest 20 bags every year, but this was not enough to feed my family for the whole year;” narrates Edson Gwaye,44, from Ufanile Gwaye, Traditional Authority Kampingu Sibale, Eswazini EPA in Mzimba South.
“I sometimes thought people use magic to increase their production. In the same year, I was elected to be the community Based Facilitator for Jalawe FFS with a membership of 30 (9 males and 21 females). Ever since I started implementing climate smart agriculture practices in my garden; I have noted an increase in production. In 2019 I harvested 35 bags, in 2020 I harvested 85 bags and this year 2020/2021; I am expecting not less than 85 bags. I learnt about CSA technologies such as agroforestry, pit planting, minimum tillage, Mbeya manure making and application at the farmer field school plot,” explains Gwaye.
Jalawe FFS also has Banana study plot where they are comparing the performance of the different varieties namely Sukali, Harare, Kapeni, Mulanje, Zomba red, Dyali. The FFS initially had 50 plants and now have 150 plants. Every member has grown 12 plants in their own plots.
“Our vision is to have a maize meal to be used as an Income generating activity, this would help us to grow our income,” explains Gwaye.