NGO constructs seed banks in the North

Written by  By Chimwemwe Milulu

Sixteen community seed banks have been constructed in Northern Region districts with 14 in Rumphi, one in each in Nkhatabay and Mzimba District.

Maize need to be stored in seed and food banks Maize need to be stored in seed and food banks

Find Your Feet, an organization promoting food security and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the three districts has supported construction of the community seed banks.


"The idea is to enable smallholder farmers in the areas to conserve and utilise local varieties of crops along with improved ones to counter effects of climate change," said Chimwemwe Soko, Programme Manager for Find Your Feet.


The organisation organized a Seed and food fair at Mbalachanda in Mzimba District and Mzenga EPA in Nkhatabay District where farmers from the surrounding areas displayed local varieties of crops which, otherwise, would become extinct.


The farmers also showcased nutritious local dishes prepared in a local manner.


"In many parts of the country, indigenous forests are depleted and gone too are the wild fruits. And with the promotion of improved crop varieties at the expense of local ones, most local varieties are being forgotten, said Agnes Moyo, Programme Manager for Mzuzu ADD.


"This seed and food fair is a good platform to remind farmers about some of the long forgotten varieties and encourage many them to preserve them," added Moyo.


According to the Country Director for Find Your Feet, Chakalipa Kanyenda, there plans to expand the project to other districts depending on the availability of funds so as many smallholder farmers in the country as possible can benefit.


During the fairs, Find Your Feet also officially handed over the Katongomala and Mkuli Community Seeds to the communities in Mzimba and Nkhatabay Districts respectively, where local farmers in the areas will be storing their local seed.

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