By CHRISTINE MITTI
GOVERNMENT has encouraged farmers to practice crop diversification and crop rotation in Mbala.
District Senior Agriculture Officer, Eugenia Sikazwe said during Lucheche Camp field day that there are many crops that can be grown in the country apart from maize such as cassava, sorghum, millet, pigeon pea, rice and many others.
Ms Sikazwe added that it is important for farmers to engage in other agricultural farming activities like livestock farming and horticulture to promote and enhance good nutrition among households. She advised farmers to grow backyard gardens and plant at least four different types of fruits. Ms Sikazwe has also advised farmers to take farming as a profitable business because it can better their livelihoods. She said farming for just household consumption is a thing of the past. “Most of the people that have taken farming as a serious business are seeing the benefits,” Ms Sikazwe said. She also warned farmers not to sell all the maize to Tanzanian business men as this is affecting food security in the country. She said farmers should keep enough maize when they harvest for household consumption.
Camp Agriculture committee chairperson Polion Siwale encouraged farmers to always participate in the field days because they will learn new farming technologies and techniques that would practically be used and applied in their fields.
Mr Siwale said during field days, farmers learn identification of diseases and management. They also learn about new seed varieties. He has also encouraged farmers to practice crop diversification. He said that farmers should be trying out many crops because it helps them know which crops are more profitable. He said crop diversification has so main benefits such as improving food security, increasing household income. It also breaks pest cycle and improves soil fertility. – NAIS.