A non-governmental organization called “Conserve with Benefits” trained young people in farming practices that are more resilient to climate change.
The young people in this training come from Ukwe EPA, TA Kabudula in Lilongwe district.
Speaking in an interview, Conserve with Benefits team leader Collins Mittochi said he noted that many young people in rural areas are unemployed and most of them have nothing to do, so farming can be a way for them to have something and that’s why they introduced the concept to make sure that young people are well educated on the best way to do farming.
“Our farm here is a test for young people where we are implementing different experimental farming practices that are more resilient to climate change. So we ended up here in Ukwe simply because we saw a lot of young people relying a lot on the environment, especially trees to cut them down for charcoal production.
“We thought it was wise to give them an alternative that they can do on their own after our training and everything. So we introduced this concept here so that young people can train proper farming practices and later they can implement their farms and also involve some of their friends and families in the practice,” Mittochi said.
Mittochi also praised the youth in the community saying that the youth are so hard-working and motivated to embrace some of the trainings they do.
“We started with only 30 but we only had 6 dropouts for different reasons, but the rest are still committed to the project. In fact, what you have seen here is rainfed agriculture, next month we are going to start our winter crops so all are still motivated to be with us. As for the percentage yield, we can believe that we will get 70% of the yields we expect,” said Mittochi.
In his remarks, Agricultural Extension Methodology Officer, Webster Jassi, said he was impressed with the organization as it has been successful in attracting young people into agriculture, as agriculture is naturally believed to be for people. old people and not young people.
“This means agricultural productivity will remain sustainable and again we will reduce unemployment if we involve more young people in agricultural production,” Jassi said.
Jassi further added that it is very important for the farmers nowadays to use the improved agricultural technologies which are recommended by the ministry of agriculture and which are effectively applied by the youths of the youth trial farm. .
He added that farmers should at least adopt the spirit of being close to the extension officers who are the guardians of all these technologies so that productivity increases for the sake of their livelihoods.
Yosefe, one of the youths at the youth trial farm, said he had benefited a lot from the organization and had gained experience and learned different farming practices.
The organization is currently working in two countries, Malawi and Kenya with the same project and has managed to train and work with 24 young people in T/A Kabudula Ukwe EPA.