February 23, 2015
Conservation agriculture experts carrying out a research to find a type of farming that would suit climate change in southern Africa have recommended conservation agriculture as the solution to environmental hazards the countries are facing.
Dr. Christian Thierfelder an expert working for International maize and wheat improvement center (CIMMYT) said in Malawi for example, crops like maize grown under conservation agriculture stood the wrath of dry spells and the floods, than those grown under conventional.
Dr. Thierfelder suggested that if many farmers keep on adopting the intervention, Malawi and other countries in Southern Africa would be food secure.
He says though it takes some time to come up with results of a scientific research, indications already show that farmers who have adopted conservation farming have managed to harvest enough food in times of dry spells as compared to those who still cling to conventional farming.
“Farmers are able to choose the crops and methods suitable for their areas after comparing the crop stand in the trial fields where CIMMYT is carrying out the research,” said Thierfelder after appreciating the research work in Malawi.
Halima Bwanali, a small holder farmer of Chimatiro village in Malawi’s Balaka district says the district has been receiving inadequate rains over the past three years, but she managed to harvest enough as compared to those who did not go for conservation agriculture.
Malawi’s conservation agriculture specialist Mphatso Gama said many farmers are now adopting the techniques showcased in the trial fields that mostly promote ground cover, crop rotation and planting without making ridges among others.
Gama said:- “Over 50 thousand farmers have adopted conservation agriculture through the trial sites in Malawi’s nine districts, and believe many others have done relatively so elsewhere across the country.”
The effects of climate change have affected food security in many countries, Malawi inclusive.
International maize and wheat improvement center (CIMMYT) in collaboration with total land care and the ministry of agriculture has for the past three years been carrying out a research on new farming techniques that would do better amid effects of climate change.
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