Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Veronica Mwiche has commended the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for equipping 800 farmers with improved farming techniques.
Ms Mwiche commended ADRA for prioritizing women participation in its initiatives as this would contribute to improving livelihoods at household level.
She noted that women are the most affected by social ills that leave them vulnerable hence government welcomes the interventions that ADRA is undertaking.
“Effects of poverty are highly felt by women. So, I am happy that women are the majority participants in this project,” she said.
PS was speaking when she visited the training centre in Sinda where 50 farmers are currently undergoing training.
Ms Mwiche said government has provided a conducive environment for non-governmental organisations(NGO) to thrive and effectively contribute to the well-being of communities they serve.
“Government is ensuring the environment is conducive. And it is for this reason that organizations like ADRA, among others are able to function and help our people,” she said.
And ADRA Coordinator, Jonathan Zimuto said the project aims at ending household poverty by engaging improved farming techniques.
Mr Zimuto stated that the project which was launched in 2019, is currently working with 800 farmers, and intends to increase the number of direct beneficiaries to 2000.
“After these engagements at the training centre, people go out and replicate. Then we make follow ups to see how they are performing. Currently the training centre has 50 farmer trainees being trained to grow crops like cowpeas, ginger, garlic, tomatoes and cassava among others. These farmers are due to graduate this month to pave way for another intake,” he said.
He noted that high value crops such as ginger and garlic are being prioritised because they allow women, who are major beneficiaries to maximise on returns with minimum labour put into the farming process.
“These crops are being promoted because women are the main laborers and doing a lot of work. But with ginger, they are able to harvest more on a small piece of land,” he explained.
Mr Zimuto added that the training facility, will also be used as a bulking centre, where farmers will be taking their produce in readiness for sell.
The field day was also attended by District Commissioners from Sinda, Katete and Petauke districts.
ADRA has established an agriculture training centre in Sinda District where it is equipping farmers with hands on farming skills, financial literacy and livestock husbandry.
The centre is also recruiting and training farmers from other three districts of Katete, Petauke and Mambwe with a view of enhancing livelihoods through farming.