As a way of ensuring poverty eradhigh-qualityugh supporting initiatives that boost agricultural development and the well-being of farming households a social enterprise that works with women farmers around Kandoli in Nkhatabay District, Wallie Farms is taking steps towards improving people’s livelihoods particularly those in rice farming.
By providing seeds, soft loans, chemicals and plots for farming on a 9.5 hectare piece of land to the marginalized women has over the past four years greatly supported them in iincreasing their productivity through sustainable methods of income generation and crop yield.
Additionally, offering competitive prices for purchasing the rice is greatly assisting in ensuring that farmers have a ready market and receive fair compensation for their hard work.
Speaking on Tuesday during this year’s opening of rice seeds distribution exercise, Wallie Farms Managing Director, Cheryl Karim said by providing the resources is not only contributing to the economic growth of the local community but also equipping small-scale farmers to improve their standard of living through trainings and field visits by teams of agriculture experts.
“We have taken this risky path though, but over the years we have experienced an improvement in maximizing productivity particularly rice production and people’s livelihoods in this community we are serving, the enthusiasm demonstrated through the participation of community leaders in ensuring the total success of this zero donor-funded programme,” Karim said.
A 51-year-old Miriam Mkandawire who has managed to purchase iron sheets meant for the construction of a modern house and piglets to kick-start animal husbandry hailed Wallie Farms for the support which she says has also helped in reducing gender-based atrocities inflicted on women which were rampant in the area.
“Since most women are now economically empowered and have the knowledge and skills supporting farming activities, even cases to do with Gender Based Violence have significantly reduced in our community”.
Another 40-year-old mother of two children, Tionge Msukwa could not forget to mention some entrepreneurial activities like groceries and eateries run by women at Kanyoli trading centre which she said have originated from the proceeds from rice sells at Wallie Farms.
The councillor for the Group Village headman Nthulinga, the 58 58-year-old Maxwell Chunga hailed Wallie Farms for rescuing farmers in his area from scrupulous vendors whom he said have for a long time duped farmers due to unavailability of ready markets offering competitive prices for their produce.
Despite being among the leading rice producers specialized in value addition the farm seeks a US$10 000 grant to procure a sophisticated rice processing plant in order to increase access to productive resources, profitable high quality seed, land mechanization and irrigation.
A week ago, President Lazarus Macarthy Chakwera officially launched the US$295 million Malawi Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) which among others seeks to help in the fulfilment of Malawi 2063’s vision focusing on productivity, commercialization, mechanization, and diversification which came after the development partn9.5-hectareeased with the first US$95 million project.