By Yankho Phiri
Kasungu, The United States Agency Development Foundation (USADF), an independent body of the United States government has funded Mpepa farming cooperative in Kasungu with over K72 million in order to improve the farmers livelihoods and well-being.
USADF Malawi Country Coordinator, Lynda Ndovie Jere said on Friday that they were prompted to release the funds after learning that the cooperative had visionary and hardworking farmers.
“A certain non-governmental organization that was working with the cooperative encouraged us to come and have a project with these farmers to improve their livelihoods and well-being. We thereafter came to evaluate their ability, vision and plans which convinced us that we will give our money to right hands,” she said.
Jere added that they were hoping that the grant will boost the farmers’ operations and double their harvest and encouraged them to concentrate on Soya seed multiplication and Sunflower growing, saying the two crops have got high demand on the market.
Speaking after signing the agreement, chairperson for Mpepa farmer’s cooperative, Davie Nkhoma expressed his gratitude for the grant which he said it will help boost their operations and give them enough returns.
“The money will help us achieve plans that we have been having as a group and individually because we will employ our own extension workers who will be imparting us with new farming techniques to increase our produce,” he said.
Trade Officer for Kasungu district council, Brino Kamanga also thanked the NGO for helping the farmers who he said are contributors of economic development in district as well as the country.
“This is a great development and we are very proud as a council because the profits which these farmers will make after selling their crops as a group will be used and invested in our district,” he said.
Kamanga added to urge the farmers to continue working together as a group and not let the funds divide them.
Mpepa cooperative started as farmers association in 2013 and later registered as a cooperative of 360 members all from Sub Traditional Authority Chinsinga in the district.