APPSA improves infrastructure in agricultural research stations
By Temwa Mhone- Malawi Exclusive
A World Bank funded project Agricultural Productivity Program for Southern Africa (APPSA) has addressed shortage of modern infrastructure to enhance quality output of agricultural research at Chitedze, Bvumbwe and Kasinthula agricultural research stations.
The project coordinated by Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development in Southern Africa (CCARDESA) has constructed office buildings, laboratories, cold and conference rooms, libraries and gravel roads at the stations.
In an interview on Wednesday, department of agricultural research services (DARS) communications officer Hector Malaidza said the stations need such assistance to provide the country with effective researches on climate adaptation.
“These are hubs that research on agriculture for smallholder farmers to adopt methods and crops to achieve food security amid effects of climate change. Modern and advanced structures are key to vibrant output, including climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices. They also erected an irrigation facility at Kasinthula to water a five hectare land,” said Malaidza.
The irrigation facility has a 3300 litre water reservoir, pump house, and sprinkler and basin irrigation systems.
APPSA project coordinator Dr Mackson Banda said they are committed to improve agricultural research services.
“In additional, we have assisted the stations to release 27 improved agricultural technologies that are helping communities achieve nutrition and food security,” he said.
Commenting on the new 10 horsepower 36 meter head installed in pump house at Kasinthula, head of farm power and machinery unit section, Dr Hendrix Kazembe said the machine is economic for their farmland as it uses less electrical power to function.