Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Security has commended farmers in Salima for championing research initiatives through farmer field schools under the European Union (EU)- funded Kulima Better project.
Speaking on the sidelines of a farmer field visit in Salima on Friday, head of National Agriculture Investment Plan, Nelson Mataka, said localised research findings are key to making agriculture a sustainable household livelihood for local farmers.
He said with climate change, specific areas have specific climatic problems which he said can be easily addressed by research.
“Variety trials as well as pest and disease control research projects can help reshape national policies that can benefit the majority of farmers,” said Mataka.
He said Kulima Better interventions are in line with government’s strategies of building a strong climate change resilience platform among rural farmers.
Mataka cited findings by Katete Farmer field school in Traditional Authority Khombedza, which discovered a mixture of Neem and Tephrosia Vogelii leaves as a remedy for fall armyworms in maize fields as one of the best innovations.
In an interview, Katete Community-based farmer Edward Kanamwali said using the mixture, they yielded 24 more kilogrammes of maize from a 10 by 15-metre piece of land compared to the use of chemical control of the worms.
“We are grateful for the capacity building interventions,” he said. n