By Manasse Nyirenda
A 23-year-old man, Blackson Mkandawire in the area of Mwachikwezga under Traditional Authority (T/A) Mwalweni has raked in millions through irrigation farming under Khwakwazi Irrigation scheme in Rumphi District.
In an interview, on Tuesday Blackson said he joined Khwakwazi Irrigation scheme in 2021 after quitting school to transform his life for the better.
“I did not have any income generating activity after dropping out of school. I had a family provide for and that’s when I joined the scheme and started growing tomatoes, maize and other crops.
“In the past two years I have accumulatively made over K2 million. I now own a four-bedroom iron sheet thatched house and a motorcycle. I am also able to provide for my wife and my two children,” he said.
He further advised his fellow youths to venture into farming other than solely focusing on white collar jobs which are hard to come by in the present economic state.
A lead farmer under the scheme, Vincent Mbale said his own household has also benefited from the scheme as he now provides better for family.
He further said that many members of the scheme are living dignified lives through the scheme as they are food secure and can easily access cash to meet their daily needs by selling some of their farm produce.
“If my family needs new clothes I can easily sell my sweet potatoes and buy some for them. That was not the case before I joined the scheme. I struggled to provide for my wife and four children,” he said.
Leonard Mbale, secretary for the group said the irrigation scheme which is run with support from Danish Church Aid and Norwegian Church Aid under Transform Project benefits over 150 households.
Khwakwazi Irrigation Scheme today boasts of over 80 members including youths and women who grow various crops such as maize and tomatoes throughout the year.
Through Transform Project farmers are also linked to markets to sell their farm produce.