Smallholder farmers tout Transform Project in Kasungu

Smallholder farmers at Kasinje in Santhe EPA, Kasungu have hailed the transformation that AG CARE’s initiative dubbed ‘Transform’ has brought in their midst.

AG CARE is an organisation founded by the Assemblies of God leadership which was previously known as Assemblies of God Relief and Development Services.

According to Godfrey Yembekezani who is project’s village agro-technician and also one of the farmers, they organized themselves in 2020 through a farmers club called Chimwetsero and started Dimba Farming as a group utilising drip irrigation technology.

“We realised K564, 000 and invested back the money by buying drip kits for irrigation. The remaining was shared among the members which was also invested individually,” said Yembekezani.

On individual fronts, Wilson Bonongwe said he was one of the poorest people in the village, but now has livestock like pigs, goats and chickens.

Bonongwe standing in front of his pigs' pen

“When I got my share, I came with it home and have accumulated all these livestock; most of all, I have learnt to do more at household level by continuing farming, including growing fruits,” said Bonongwe.

AG Care’s Transform Project Coordinator, Miriam Yona Mbewe said she is impressed with how smallholder farmers have embraced drip irrigation technology.

She said the technology is less involving than using watering cans but farmers also yield more on a small space utilising little water.

“With climate change these days water becomes scarce so drip irrigation farming affords the farmers to use the water efficiently at the same time yielding more without putting much of their energy into the work,” said Mbewe.

Transform Project which operates in Kasungu, Dowa and Mchinji, is being coordinated by the Norwegian Church Aid and Dan Church Aid (NCA/DCA) with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy.