Action for Sustainable Development-ASUD, a local nongovernmental organization promoting smart agriculture in Mzuzu and surrounding areas, has called on farmers in the country to embark on winter cropping to supplement rain fed agriculture. ASUD’s Project Officer Dalitso Chitete was speaking at Ng’ongo in the outskirts of Mzuzu city during a field day.

Chitete said the program among others seeks to improve smallholder farmers’ economic well being.
“The establishment of Chiwonewone Irrigation Scheme under Village Headman Chiwonewone Ngwira at Ng’ongo in Mzimba North is in response to the community’s desire to reduce hunger and poverty amongst themselves which is also in line with our motto of ending hunger.”Said Chitete. Chairperson for the 22 member scheme, Webster Ngwira says the scheme, with technical expertise from Action for Sustainable Development-ASUD is already bearing fruits.

“The sales from our vegetables will help us in buying fertilizers during the rainy season.”Said the smiling Ngwira.
The scheme is currently using watering canes when irrigating their crops which according to Action for Sustainable Development-ASUD Projects Coordinator Dalitso Chitete will shortly be a thing of the past as the scheme will be provided with a solar water pump. “We have already purchased the solar water pump which we will shortly handover as a matter of expanding the scheme to benefit more households.”Said Chitete.

Apart from promoting winter cropping, ASUD also promotes animal husbandry through provision of pigs which supplies manure to the scheme. The project is being implemented with financial assistance from EcoSolidar a Swiss based organization.