Find Your Feet (FYF) has opened a K3.5 million seed bank to farmers in Mbalachanda, enhancing storage and availability of indeginous seed in the area.
FYF programme manager Chakalipa Kanyenda handed over keys to the locals during a seed and food fair on Friday, nearly five years since the British non-governmental organisation started working in the area.
The organisation has been promoting conservation agriculture to ensure high yields despite climate change. It has also been training lead farmers to be role models for the farming community to narrow the gap left by shortage of agricultural extension officers and growing of a diversity of crops to improve nutrition.
The rural communities envision the seed bank to promote agro-diversity, especially when it comes to storage of indeginous seed that face extinction as agricultural workforce tend to denounce them in preference for high-yielding hybrids.
“The project is yielding the desired fruit. Quite a few indeginous seeds have been conserved and a culture of crop diversification is taking root. We hope this will help the community combat chronic hunger,” said Kanyenda.
Mzuzu Agricultural Development Division (Mzadd) programme manager Agnes Moyo urged the farmers to continue safeguarding crops that naturally adapt to their setting. n