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Horticulture Farmers Attain a Quick Payback through Micro Investment Kit

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Many small scale farmers are highly risk-opposed and are always reluctant to invest in new innovations unless the returns are twofold. The challenge in growing maize, for example, is the length of time between each harvest and the risk of oversupply and low prices. Farmers are always encouraged and easily adopt an innovation when it is proved profitable compared to what farmers are conventionally practicing. As part of enhancing farmers’ investment decision, the African Institute of Corporate Citizenship (AICC) in partnership with the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) introduced Micro Investment project called Commercial Agribusiness for Sustainable Horticulture (CASH) in different sections under Mndolera EPA in Dowa District. The Project has been promoting micro investment concept using drip irrigation technology where farmers are approached and requested to buy the micro-investment (MI) kits that comprises of the drip kit, fertilizer as well as improved seed.

The Micro Investment has shown that it has a quick payback period as it returns the profit at the first harvest. The quick payback period has contributed to farmers’ habit of reinvesting some of the profit established right from the start. This has contributed to the current rate of adoption in Sese section which has the highest number of kits installed. Mr. Feliasi Staniele is a 42 years-old CASH project horticultural farmer in Sese section under Mndolera EPA in Dowa District. Mr. Staniele bought one kit form AICC which with assistance from agronomist, cultivated tomato on a one bed. To his surprise the technology required little amount of water compared to traditional way of watering. After following all the instructions from the agronomist, the farmer was very impressed as the five weeks’ crop stand gave him hope that significant yields will be realized. His 15m by 1m bed had 106 plants of tomato that achieved a yielding average of 75 fruits per plant. He sold all fruits and managed to get MWK112, 000 after harvesting. He has managed to buy basic household needs and bought extra four kits as part of reinvesting in horticultural production.

Mr. Feliasi Staniele in his reinvested horticultural garden

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Malawi

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