With proper support, smallholder farmers can outgrow the ‘smallholder’ tittle

Yohane Dokotala

If you met Yohane Dokotala on the road, you would simply ignore him, thinking he is just an ordinary man. It is until you are introduced to him, you will then want to hear more about his life.

Now in his late 40s, Yohane hails from Chapata village, T/A Chadza, Lilongwe.

Yohane, who operates under the NASFAM umbrella through Mlodzenzi Association, joined the NASFAM family when it had just been formed, some 18 years ago, with the aim of benefiting from the tobacco transport program (which the tobacco department of the organisation provides to its members).

 Little did he know that more goodies were to follow as he had joined an organisation that exists to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. His family no longer relies on tobacco. He has diversified into livestock and other commercial crops.

Crop Diversification and Irrigation can help smallholder farmers build resilience to climate change effects

Eliza Banda Sorting her Soya produce

Eliza Banda, 28, is a smallholder farmer from Mathambo Village, T/A Mabulabo, Mzimba. Together with her husband, she looks after a family of six.

 As a smallholder farmer, she has had challenges in making ends meet for a good number of years. She has been farming since 2008 but made very little progress due to lack of support and necessary skills, but now she has a different story.

NASFAM for improved tobacco contract farming, fair deals

Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu presenting NASFAM position to the Committee 

The National Smallholder Farmers Association of Malawi (NASFAM) has called for improvements in the tobacco contract farming, marketing and pricing to ensure that the producer, especially smallholder farmers, get a fair deal in the business.

NASFAM Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Betty Chinyamunyamu, made the call when she submitted the association’s input into the Tobacco Bill to the joint Parliamentary Committee tasked to solicit views to be incorporated into the Bill.

 The Bill is scheduled to be presented in parliament once authorities are done with the consultations.