Farmers urged to embrace early maturing crops

Crops Officer for Karonga District Agriculture Development Office, Stocker Nundwe, has asked farmers in the district to plant early maturing crop varieties to lessen the impacts of weather unpredictability and flood disasters on their agriculture productivity.

Nundwe said this at Mwangulukulu Village in the area of Senior Chief Mwakaboko in Karonga on Friday during an agriculture field day organised by SeedCo.

Nundwe said Ministry of Agriculture wants three things for a farmer namely; food security, good nutrition and financial security.

He said the three can be achieved if farmers use early maturing seed that can withstand drought and suit the climate conditions of their area.

Nundwe (standing): A farmer should be food secure

“This aligns with the government’s growing calls for farmers to practise climate smart agriculture, which includes planting early maturing crop varieties in our district which is hit with disasters annually,” he said.

Agronomy Manager for SeedCo Malawi, James Mtiesa, appealed to farmers to select appropriate crop varieties based on their agro-ecological regions to maximise yields.

“It all starts with the right seed and on display today we had maize, soya and rice which mature early. Some crops do not need much rain and I can assure farmers that they will still get a bumper harvest even when grown on a small piece of land,” said Mtiesa.

Some of the crops on display were Kalulu maize seed which matures in not more than 80 days and Signal 110 soya seed which matures in 104 days.

Mtiesa explaining a point to farmers

Mtiesa said farmers can harvest 50 bags and 28 bags per hectare of the maize and soya respectively.

“Nerica 4 rice seed matures in 100 days and can be grown everywhere since it does not need much water hauling in 32 bags from a hectare,” he said.

Mtiesa stressed that by selecting appropriate early maturing varieties and diversifying crop choices, farmers can mitigate the risks associated with uncertain rainfall patterns and increase their chances of achieving a successful and bountiful harvest.

One of the farmers, Paliph Msukwa, said adopting hybreed seed varieties which mature early and are drought tolerant can be a solution to the problems faced by farmers in Karonga and help increase yields, food and nutrition security.

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