By Wanangwa Tembo
Kasungu, May 22, Mana: Director of Agriculture and Environmental Services for Kasungu, Patterson Kandonje has applauded Plan Malawi for donating motor vehicles and other assets to the district agriculture office saying the move will scale up extension services.
Kandonje said this in Kasungu on Friday when Plan Malawi handed over a Toyota Hilux Double-Cabin, two Honda motorcycles, two laptop computers and a digital camera.
Kandonje admitted that government departments face a lot of challenges including mobility due to inadequate funding, saying this restricts officers to ably discharge extension services.
“Officers are always eager to go to fields and reach out to farmers with our services, but due to logistical hiccups, they fail. The donation received today is a morale boost to our officers such that they will reach out to farmers with ease.” he said.
On the other hand, Kandonje pledged to ensure the sustainability of activities under the just phased out Kulima Better project which Plan Malawi implemented in the district, highlighting that the project contributed to increased productivity at household level.
He said, “Plan Malawi supported us through the project. Despite that it phased out, to us as government we will still ensure that all area extension development officers are sustaining the interventions that Kulima Better has left.”
Central East Regional Programmes Manager for Plan Malawi, Billy Mukwikwi, said the donation rests much on ensuring that Kasungu district agriculture office sustains the strides that Kulima Better project made on the ground.
He added Plan Malawi recognises the agriculture office as a partner in rural development programmes, and with the gesture, expects the office to easily carry out extension services to the farmers.
“We have been working with extension workers on the ground in this project. So to ensure that the strides made are sustained,we thought it was important to hand over the assets which have been used in the project, recalling that, even if Plan leaves, government will continue sustaining what is on the ground”, he said.
Mukwikwi yearned that farmers still be getting required extension services which he said are critical in increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring that farmers are food secure.
Kulima Better project spanned from 2017 to 2022 and focused on bringing solutions to problems farmers were facing in their undertakings through demonstrations in Farmer Field Schools across its impact area in the district.