Extension workers and farmers pose with Chen and Njaya after the graduation

By Vincent Khonje

Farmers Field Schools (FFS)have been described as very crucial in agriculture development in the country.

FFS allow farmers, extension workers and scientists to work together to co-produce vital knowledge vital and localized solutions to problems.

Director of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Friday Njaya, said on Thursday during a Graduation Ceremony of 35 farmers and 35 extension workers at Lisasadzi in Kasungu who have been attending the FFS for the last 14 weeks.

“As ministry of agriculture we take these kinds of training seriously as farmers and researchers develop technologies that are relevant. The technologies that are being developed are very specific and since they are developed by the farmers they stick in their minds,” said Njaya.

Njaya said the technologies will be able to improve agriculture in the country as the farmers and extension workers will impart the knowledge to the other farmers in the districts they are coming from.

The training was supported by FAO and the European Union who also helped revamp irrigation infrastructures and carried out maintenance works of water systems at Lisasadzi to be used by FFS.

FAO Representative Zhijun Chen said farmers in the country need relevant technologies and skills and the initiative has helped them acquire these.

“The FFS approach is a vehicle for the agriculture extension to deliver proven technology and experiences and practices to the farmers,” said Chen.

The farmers and extension workers were drawn from Mchinji, Nkhotakota, Salima and Kasungu.

FFS supports the two priority areas of the National Agriculture Policy namely sustainable agriculture production and productivity and productivity and food and nutrition security.