At least 50 groups affiliated to Comsip Cooperative Union that qualified to participate in the 2017/18 legumes enterprise structured production (Lesp) have started receiving their farm input packages in the first phase of the distribution exercise.
The farmers are supported with seed, fertiliser, pesticides and protective wear such as facemasks and gloves. In the 2017/18 farming season, 424 Comsip groups from 12 districts across the country are participating in the legumes production.
Malawi grows significant quantities of soy, pigeon peas and sugar beans. Malawi is the world’s third largest producer of pigeon peas, which are consumed both locally and abroad.
Comsip Cooperative Union provides inputs, supports extension services under Lesp, a value chain initiative under the livelihood and skills development (Lisd) component of Masaf IV, which helps Comsip members enhance their nutrition, linked to markets and earn incomes to improve their livelihood.
The initiative, now in its third year, promotes the production of selected legumes such as soy beans, sugar beans and pigeon peas which serves as an investment, in addition to meeting needs for nutrition and health promotion.
Comsip Agribusiness Officer, Ernest Jumbe, said his organisation has earmarked 200 hectares for sugar bean and 125 for soy bean production.
“In terms of preparations, we have sensitised the targeted groups on the initiative and we are finalising the procurement of inputs scheduled to be distributed to the targeted cooperatives/ clusters.
“Furthermore, we have lined up a series of capacity building initiatives in form of trainings and demonstrations to improve productivity by making sure that our farmers adopt best practices and use new technologies in legume production in collaboration with district extension service [officer],” Jumbe said.
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