The Mbofana family of Pawandiwa village, Nyamhanza B ward 18, Mutoko district, is a very large family comprising of 11 members. The family is headed by Agnes Mbofana who is a widow aged 67 with 4 children and 6 grandchildren. They own 4 hectares of land. CADS trained farmers including Mbofana family members on organic farming and conservation agriculture, where farmers practise minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, crop rotation and high crop management standards.
Mrs. Mbofana had this to say about her organic grain amaranth production: “Before the season started we had no inputs at all, in fact we had no money to even buy seed or fertilisers. In the rural areas it’s very difficult to get money. The organic farming programme came to our rescue. We used only compost, which is inexpensive. There is no use of inorganic fertilisers at all.”
“Because of the time and dedication we as a family put into our farming we managed to grow 0.2 ha of grain amaranth, 1.5 ha of maize, 0.5 ha of groundnuts and 0.3 ha of cowpeas. Of all the crops, grain amaranth did best. “Our yield could have been even better if it was not for the long dry spells and then incessant rains which caused leaching of nutrients. We managed to sell 160kg of amaranth grain. With the money I bought building materials for my 2-roomed house which is now under construction. Grain amaranth organic farming has rewarded me with a better house. With the hope that the coming seasons will be good, we will be able to fend for ourselves. We are a good example of how a project can uplift the standards of life of rural people. We urge the project to keep on helping not only our community but many other farmers.”