Farmers find relief in weather insurance, drought tolerant seeds

By Watipaso Mzungu - Consultant Reporter

Small scale farmers in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nsamala in Balaka are grappling with the impacts of the 2017 prolonged dry spell, which devastated harvests and led to food shortages to their households.

The long-awaited rains are expected to replenish pastures, and communities are being encouraged to plant short-term crops.

But those that can, fear losing their produce again, when the rains stop before the crops mature.

“Last year, we laboured in vain after our crops wilted before maturity. This year, every farmer is sceptical. No one is eager to risk his or her money on this type of seed again,” Marita Charles, 32, says, pointing to an empty packet bearing the name of the seed and company she bought for the 2017-18 agricultural year.