Nkalo and Ngumba village development committees (VDCs) in Chiradzulu recently distributed 21 dairy animals to farmers.
The animals were distributed under the Rural Livelihoods Support Programme (RLSP) introduced in the area in 2004 to empower farmers economically.
Ngumba VDC chairperson Henry Liwonde said this at a meeting held in the district to find ways of sustaining their activities after RLSP phases out this month.
But the meeting unanimously agreed that most activities under RLSP will continue because of the skills RLSP imparted to communities.
The beneficiaries of the dairy animals were identified by local communities and the project will be managed under a pass on programme.
RLSP gave them farm inputs such as fertiliser and seeds which was repaid to the VDCs in form of bags of maize.
The VDCs sold the maize and used the proceeds to buy the dairy animals.
Chiradzulu district council director of planning and development, Morson Magombo, commended the VDCs, saying this is what government has been advocating all along.
“Government want to increase people’s disposable income through projects such as this one,” he said.
Magombo said the VDCs have demonstrated that given skills, communities can stand on their own and play a greater role in the socioeconomic development of this country.
He said sustaining a project after its expiry is always a challenge, but the council assured the communities that it will continue offering them technical support.
With joint financial support from Malawi Government and the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (Ifad), RLSP is implementing different livelihoods projects such as piggery, dairy farming, reafforestation, water and sanitation and goat production in the district.
Some of its beneficiaries are widows, children headed households and families taking caring of orphans.