Farmers to improve harvests with SeedCo
SeedCo Malawi a company that produces hybrid seeds for various crops in Malawi has together with DAPP Malawi been working with 120 farmers from Dowa district.
The project known as Weekend Farmers club aimed to introduce new and hybrid crop varieties and modern climate smart agriculture practices in order to increase harvests.
The farmers were organized in 12 groups of 10 members each with one Lead farmer who established a demo plots to grow a variety of SeedCo maize and soya bean crops.
On 10 May 2021, SeedCo together with DAPP organized a field visit with the farmers under the project to demonstrate how the crops performed and to share with the farmers of the benefits of growing the improved crop varieties by SeedCo.
Nine maize varieties and two soya were given to the farmers to grow in the demo plots while following climate smart agriculture methods. During the field day, the farmers had an opportunity to learn about the various hybrid seeds and to ask questions on the various crops.
The event highlighted on the harvests per hectare for the different varieties, the maturity period for the crops, climate conditions that affect the different crop varieties, and land preparation and care for the crops during the growing season.
Mr Ephraim Banda from Kaiwe village in Tradtional Authority Nsakambewa is one of the lead farmers that grew the SeedCo maize varieties of Kalulu, Kanyani, Mkango, Mbidzi, Njobvu and Orange maize in his field. He said he will be growing the Njobvu and Mkango varieties as they have proved to do well in their area at the same time giving him bumper yields.
Representing the Agriculture Extension Development Coordinator was the Agriculture Extension Development Officer (AEDO) Elise Thauzeni who encouraged the farmers to grow crops that are resistant to changes in climate and are performing well according to the local climate conditions.
The Sales Manager for SeedCo Mr Raphael Makaka said they were satisfied with the field day and the interest from the farmers showed that they are ready to adopt the new and improved seed varieties.
There are 12 demo plots that were set up by lead farmers who worked with 9 farmers each. The farmers under the project are also encouraged to apply compost manure in their field for soil improvement in the soil fertility.