East farmers advised to embrace conservation farming

GOVERNMENT has urged farmers in Eastern Province to start practicing conservation farming to avert effects of climate change.
Eastern Province Agriculture Coordinating Officer Kenneth Kanenga said conservation farming improves soil moisture by holding nutrients and water.
Mr Kanenga said in an interview on Thursday that farmers should cultivate their fields using ‘pot and holes’ method which entails planting seeds in holes and using herbicides to reduce labour.
Mr Kanenga said farmers should use medium or early maturing variety of maize seed which grows faster because of delayed rains.
He also called on farmers to be rotating their crops to maintain soil fertility in view of climate change.
Mr Kanenga cited soybeans as a good crop to plant as it has a ready market due to its high demand. The crop also withstands change in weather pattern.
“Soybeans has very good market and it is a cash crop that can bring financial stability to our farmers. So it is not late for farmers to plant soybeans this season,” he said.
Mr Kanenga also encouraged farmers to venture into rearing goats, cattle, pigs and chickens as a means to generate income.
On progress made on water reservoirs, he said four dams have been constructed in some parts of Chipata as well as in Mambwe and Lundazi.
He said the dams are meant to store water to be used for irrigation in case of delayed rains.

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