Circle for Integrated Community Development has donated 56 bicycles to lead farmers from Santhe and Chulu extension planning areas (EPAs) in Kasungu District.
Speaking on Tuesday during the handover, Circle for Integrated Community Development deputy board chairperson Geoffrey Kananji said they wanted to ease mobility challenges lead farmers face when conducting their duties.
He said: “The organisation appreciates the important role lead farmers play in the agricultural sector in the country.
“Lead farmers teach fellow farmers modern farming technologies as we know the country has few agriculture extension and development officers.”
Kasungu district director of agriculture and natural resources Patterson Kandonje thanked the organisation for the donation.
“There are over 300 000 farmers in the district against 83 agricultural extension and development officers, which translates to a ratio of one officer to 3 000 farmers, thereby making it difficult for the officers to reach out to all the farmers,” he said.
Kandonje said they involved lead farmers to teach their colleagues about modern agriculture technologies, but they faced logistical challenges.
“We thank Circle for Integrated Community Development for supporting 56 lead farmers with bicycles because they will be able to reach out to farmers in hard-to-reach areas,” he said.
One of the lead farmers, Willard Banda, said they travel long distances to meet farmers.
“The bicycles will motivate us to work hard,” he said.
Circle for Integrated Community Development is implementing the Enhancing Access to Profitable and Inclusive Agriculture Markets for Smallholder Farmers in Malawi Project with funding from the Government of Flanders through Oxfam in Malawi.