The Circle for Integrated Community Development ( CICOD), has finished its three year project which it was implementing in Chivala EPA covering Ntchenenje, Chivala, Basiketi,Thambwe and Katchakwala villages in the area of Traditional Authority Mkukula in Dowa district.
The project called Drought Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation and Mitigation (DREAM) has contributed to the improvement of food security, income and strengthening of drought resilience in the district.
Speaking when he presented the project phase out, CICODs Project Manager,Thomas Nkhata, said the project has increased food, nutrition and income levels of the 1500 beneficiaries.
Nkhata said the project has registered progress in post – harvest loss rate due to poor storage facilities with smallholder farmers able to achieve maize of the potential yield.
He said in its first year, 132 farmers were linked to soya bean market where 10 metric tonnes was sold realizing K2.4 million.
The manager said in year 3, 358 farmers linked to soya bean market, 26 metric tonnes was sold to Sun seed oil company, giving an example of Chivala legumes smallholder farmers Association which realized K7 million with the highest farmer getting K486,000.
However, Nkhata said the project has been meeting challenges such as an outbreak of pests mainly fall – Army worms, red spiders, mites, wire worms, bean beetles and reduced water levels in irrigation sites in 2018.
“Dependency on handouts still lingers among some beneficiaries and attitude towards myths and contraceptive methods, was also part of the challenges faced by the project in its course of implementation”,said Nkhata.
He asked the District Executive Council Committee to note and monitor Katchakwala, Cooperative, Chivala smallholder farmers legumes Association, 20 treadle pumps, forest equipment ie wheel barrows, watering canes , pangas and knap sack sprayers, so that they be of great importance to the community.
Nkhata expressed hope that the project has provided sustainably or exit strategies such as co – implementation of projects with stakeholders, empowering community structures and smallholder farmers Association and cooperative and will finally arrange an exit strategy workshop for all of its stakeholders.
In his remarks, Dowa District Council’s Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Thanira Gondwe, thanked CICOD for being in the district implementing a project which has improved lives of the people through food security at household level.
The 3 year project, Drought Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation and Mitigation ( DREAM) was being implemented in Dowa district with a total funding of K430 million.