Farm mechanisation key to improved yield production

Controller of Agriculture Extension and Technical Services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Alfred Mwenifumbo has advised farmers to adopt farm mechanisation to increase yield and ease their work.

Mwenifumbo said this recently at Hara Irrigation Scheme in Karonga where Mahindra, a company that deals in farm equipment, through Delta Automobiles and Equipment LTD had organised a demonstration of rice planting using Mahindra rice transplanted.

“Malawian rice farmers produce 146,000 metric tonnes annually but there is demand for 12 million tonnes of rice in Africa. Adopting mechanised farming will not only help farmers increase their yield but will also reduce manual work.

“Under the mega farms’ initiative, all farmland parcels exceeding 20 hectares qualify to be mega-farms. I, therefore, would like to advise farmers who hold such land to register it and form a cooperative registered with the Ministry of Industry and Trade for them to access loans from the Agriculture Commercialization (AGCOM) Project and purchase these machines,” said Mwenifumbo.

General Manager for Delta Automobiles and Equipment LTD Goldy Nair said they conducted eight-month research among farmers in Malawi and most of them complained of hard manual work in agricultural activities.

“Rice is always planted manually in all districts and this affects quality and quantity of yield, hence our involvement in contributing to the achievement of Malawi 2063 of becoming a self-reliant nation through agricultural commercialisation.

“This is why today we displayed walk-behind and ride-on rice transplanters which are capable of planting rice on four hectares in a day,” said Nair.

Manager for Hara Irrigation Scheme, Derlings Mwalungira said the intervention will lead to modernised agriculture with reduced expenditure in rice production.

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