Government takes swift action on land degradation

Government has indicated that issues of land degradation have reached alarming levels across the country.

The remarks were made by, Land Resources Conservation Deputy Director at the Ministry of Agriculture Gilbert Kupunda on the side-lines of a training for field workers.

According to Kupunda, a research done in 2014 revealed that degradation rate of soil is at 29 tons per hectare per year.

This has prompted the ministry to come up with different approaches in order to deal with the problem especially in areas where the problem is proliferating.

Among the interventions that government has undertaken are agroforestry, contouring and manure making.

“In the past we used to target individual farmers but with this we are now looking at the catchment and within that catchment we are going to identify the hotspots and these will be our priority areas to start with the intervention that we want to introduce in that particular area,” said Kapunda.

Enock Whayo, technical team member for the Malawi Resilience and Disaster Risk Management Project (MR DRMP) from the Department of Land Resource Conservation, said they are optimistic that the interventions taken will help reduce the problem at hand.

“We might have another study after five years, the last studies that we had in 1992 and 2014 respectively were all funded by World Bank,” he said.

One of the participants for the training, Hannah Mwalukomo who is also Agriculture Extension Development  Coordinator for Dolo Extension Planning Area (EPA) in Chikwawa, said the training on land degradation is distinct because they will acquire more knowledge and skills which they will impart on communities.

The project is targeting 15 districts but is currently being implemented in 12 districts. The project is expected to end in 2024.

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