Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Farmers association formed in Mulanje

By Elias Banda and Kapalepale Phiri.
An association embracing farmer interest groups in Traditional Authority Juma in Mulanje district has been formed with a mandate to represent farmer’s interests at district and national levels.
The association has an official name; Tagwirizina Small Holder Farmers Association (TASHFA) after its constitution was reviewed and adopted on June 14, 2013 at Namphungo.
The elected executuive committee
During the meeting, a fifteen member executive committee was elected and the elections were witnessed by Mulanje District Agribusiness Officer, Grant Tweya and agriculture extension officers from Kamwendo Extension Planning Area. Speaking during the function Mr Tweya said he was convinced that the association had followed necessary procedures and that he would help to facilitate further registration processes. He thanked ADRA Malawi through the Action for Social Change Program for facilitating the process.
According to the constitution, the main objective of the association is to find markets for seeds,  negotiate better prices and lobby for loans for farmers among other tasks that would lead to improved quality of life for farmers.

The constitution also indicates that it would mainly promote pigeon pea, sunflower, sorghum, soy beans, tomatoes and cotton.
Farmers dispalying their produce at Khwalala
A member of Mwawihe interest group who declined to be named said apart from finding lucrative markets for agriculture produce, the association would also defuse efforts of middle men who exploit farmers by imposing lower prices.
The association has embraced 8 interests groups with jurisdiction of 60 villages in Traditional Authority Juma with a total membership of 1, 129 members.  Meanwhile, female membership is 764.
The Action for Social Change Program is being support by Denmark to bring about individual and society change in Mulanje, Machinga, Mzuzu and Lilongwe districts. 

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