Chieftainess Kawaza of the Chewa people of Katete and Sinda Districts has urged farmers to diversify to livestock rearing instead of relying on crop production alone.
The Chieftainess said the chiefdom has relied on crop production for a long time which is now, not reliable in the face of adverse weather conditions such as droughts and floods.
The traditional leader said when farmers venture both into livestock rearing and crop production, they would survive hard economic times once their crop does not do well.
“As you have seen this farming season, we didn’t have enough rains and the harvest is not the way it was last farming season, so if you have livestock, you will be helped. You can sell that animal. So farming you should not just rely on maize alone but also livestock, you can never go wrong in agriculture,” she said.
And the traditional leader said people are interested in livestock as they have seen the value of owning farm animals.
ZANIS reports that Chieftainess Kawaza said this when Minister of Fisheries and Livestock, Makozo Chikote paid a courtesy call on her at her palace.
And the Chieftainess appealed to government to come to the aid of her chiefdom as most people did not harvest anything during the just ended farming season.
She said most of the farmers did not harvest anything due to the drought that was experienced for two months, and hence threats of hunger was roaming.
“We have parts of the chiefdom that did well and there are some parts where people did not harvest anything. Even the maize that you saw along the road, you know how people are, even the little that they have they will sell. We don’t have food, and what I have said is what is on the ground,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Chief assured the Minister of Fisheries and Livestock that the traditional leadership was committed to working with the government in order to foster development in their chiefdoms.
She said development was not feasible without the traditional leadership partnering and working with government.
“Our aim is to work for the people, we can’t do things on our own without the interest of the chiefdom then like that we are making a mistake,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chikote reiterated government’s commitment to working with the traditional leadership in order to develop the country.
Mr. Chikote said government understands the cardinal role that the traditional leaders play in fostering development, noting that without their participation progress and development would be a difficult undertaking.
“Development cannot be done with only us as government, but we engage the traditional leadership because they are the ones who understand the challenges their subjects are facing and because they are the owners of the people and owners of the land,” he said.
The Fisheries and Livestock Minister was in the province to interact with the fisheries and livestock smallholder farmers in order to appreciate the wins and challenges they are facing and to encourage them to see farming as a business.