The African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (Aicc), an institution that promotes the role of business in development, has touted the introduction of system of rice intensification (SRI) in Machinga District to increase the crop’s output.
SRI involves the transplanting of young seedlings raised in an unflooded nursery and transplanting them in shallow soils with one seed per planting station.
In an interview, Aicc finance and administrative manager Henry Chiwalo said since the concept was introduced, rice production has doubled from 2 500 kilogrammes (kg) per hectare to about 5 850 kg per hectare.
“Many small-scale farmers have adopted this innovative technology which has increased rice production because it produces high yield per planting station,” he said.
Over 2 800 rice farmers in three irrigation schemes in Machinga are practising this system of farming.
On a large-scale, over 10 000 farmers have adopted SRI in all the eight districts where Aicc is implementing the programme, according to Chiwalo.
Machinga district trade officer Mervin Mkondiwa commended Aicc for empowering farmers in the district through the programme.
However, he asked for more interventions, especially in value addition, stressing that for farmers to realise more income from their work, they need to improve their products for easy marketing.
“These farmers can only do better through the programme if they benefit more from their production. This can be achieved through value addition,” said Mkondiwa.