LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Center for Agriculture Transformation (CAT)’s smart farm is making strides in revolutionizing modern crop diversification uptake among smallholder farmers.
Located at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) at Bunda in Lilongwe, CAT smart is providing tissue cultured and scientific-proved crop varieties for maximum production.
Under the theme, “Promoting diversification and increased agricultural productivity through technology and innovation”, this year’s CAT Farmer field day on Thursday, May 12, 2022 showcased new crops varieties that can grow any where including rice that also do well in dry land.
CAT Bunda smart farm is also showcasing modern varieties including groundnuts, Soya beans, maize, banana, sweet potatoes and among others.
CAT farmer field day attracted participants from seed manufacturers, students, agriculture experts and extension workers, smallholders farmers, government officials and scientists.
CAT Executive Director Macleod Nkhoma expressed satisfied on how smallholder farmers are adopting modern farming technologies to maximize production for commercial purposes.
Nkhoma wants to revolutionize agriculture production with modern technologies coupled with improved crop varieties.
“Our eyes are on 2063 agenda for improved crop varieties and innovation that maximise production for commercial and domestic usage.
“We want a food secured nation hence this smart farm which is demonstrating innovations and technologies for farmers to adapt,” assures Nkhoma.
Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) President Frighton Njolomole was over the moon appreciating adoptable crops that are resistant to dry spells.
Njolomole therefore encouraged farmers to seriously tap skills and knowledge the CAT smart farm is showcasing for maximum production.
Foundation for a Smoke-Free World (FSFW) and Agriculture Transformation Initiative (ATI) vice President Candida Nakhumwa said as sponsor towards CAT operations is impressed on how resources are being utilized for crop diversification.
Nakhumwa observes that the pace at which smallholder farmers are adopting modern technology and innovation proves that Malawi is on right track from moving away on tobacco crop reliance.
“We are very impressed on how farmers are tapping skills and knowledge from CAT smart farm. We are able to see quick transitioning of farmers to new technologies to invigorate production that are profitable.
“We want farmers to completely diversify on crops production as tobacco production is slowly shrinking globally,” says Nakhumwa.
ATI gave out grants worthy US$12 million for establishment of CAT as a hub for science, technology, innovation and business incubation.
The project runs from 2019 to 2024 aiming at diversifying tobacco-dependent economies.