Project TRANSFORM is within its 4 years implementing a focussed intervention that will lead into total transformation of a smallholder farmers in the community in the aspects of climate change resilience, food and nutrition security and income access.
Consequent upon the implementation of TRANSFORM project, CADECOMs response was a Micro Investment approach, a drip irrigation technology which answers water scarcity problem to irrigation farming, a hindrance to relentless production of horticultural crops in Njewe section, an agro ecological zone for Emfeni Extension Planning Area, under Traditional Authority Mabulabo of Mzimba District.
Through the incubator concept in the MI approach, Micro investors in Njewe are producing leafy vegetables, Okra and Tomatoes which is meeting over 80% of customers within the local markets. However, to achieve this, the section developed a collective marketing strategy which ensured a consistent vegetable supply within its local food system.
“Before this farming here in Njewe, we had experienced a shortfall of tomatoes during rainy season due to cost of production to a small holder farmers are high. At the moment, vegetables are now available during this scarce period because in the incubators at way affordable prices, we can confidently say that nutritionally we are secured” said the village Development committee chairperson for the Peter Mbwisera Village during one of the community meetings.
Suffice to say that after stagnating local market, the micro investors are taking a mile by reaching out to outside large markets outlets for better and bulky supply. These are Nkhamenya girls secondary school, Kaluluma community and big market of Nkhamenya community. Worth to note is that these markets had a main source of vegetable which Jenda located 45 Km away from Nkhamenya, this meant that high costs of transportation and to some extent quality of produce of was being compromised.
Interestingly, these micro investors have devoured vegetable market by over 80 percent at Nkhamenya Community. Now farmers are supplying quality incubator tomatoes which was meant to be obtained from Jenda main market. “This is a very big achievement to the farmers as they will be transformed financially. We are very thankful that these farmers supplying us with quality tomatoes, now were saving money meant for transport to and get our produce for sale, we are indeed saving about 20 % meant for transport costs” said on the female vendor in Nkhamenya market
These farmers goal is that after sales of vegetables, everyone will graduate with an irrigation equipment which include irrigation pipes and accessories so that they are independent and sustainable. They will have their own farming where they will be continuously being supplying vegetables even when the project phases out.
Story By Davie Scotch – Agronomist Njewe Section-Emfeni Extension Planning Area