Mzimba district agricultural development officer (Dado) Renard Tchongwe has hailed the lead farmer concept saying it helps to fast-track adoption of new agriculture technologies among farmers.
Lead farmer concept is an initiative that engages successful farmers to train fellow local farmers in new agricultural technologies.
Speaking in an interview on Monday on the sidelines of a week-long lead farmer training, Tchongwe said the lead farmer initiative has proved to be a successful approach in the adoption of agricultural technologies among farmers in the district.
Participating farmers have been drawn from Kazomba, Eswazini, Bulala, Hora and Manyamula extension planning areas (EPA).
Tchongwe said new agricultural technologies such as the planting of one to one at 25 cm apart, popularly known as Sasakawa, and manure-making as well as usage have registered high adoption rates among farmers due to the involvement of lead farmers.
Agreeing with Tchongwe, Mzimba district senior assistant land resource and conservation officer Davie Kaonga said the lead farmer support project started in 2004 and is being funded by the Development Fund of Norway.
The initiative recruits successful and hard working local farmers who are oriented on various agricultural technologies such as soil fertility improvement (manure making), soil and water conservation among others.