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Savior Nkhonjera names AICC her “redeemer”

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 2015 is the year which still runs in the mind of one savior Nkhonjera. It is a year which she swears it will never go past her memory.

It was in early April soon after harvesting that she came across AICC’s field officer through Agricultural Extension Office. At this time, AICC was talking to people about the goodness of coming together, form a cooperative and adopt Good Agricultural Practices. To her, this seemed as something that would never materialize because a lot of people that were at the gathering had lost their trust in farming. They cited poor markets, increase in seed prices and unfavorable climatic conditions as some of the reasons that made them lose hope in farming.

To her surprise, AICC came with another side of farming practices; AICC would link all the farmers that form a cooperative to markets and help them with easy access to inputs. The message caught her attention but she was still debating whether to be part of the grouping or not. After attentively listening to all the presentations by AICC, Savior made a decision to be part of the grouping and wait for the fruits.

All the farmers including Savior Nkhonjera signed up and showed willingness to form a cooperative, AICC helped the grouping with trainings in business management, Good Agricultural Practices as well climate friendly technologies that makes one have high production on a small piece of land. Afterwards, AICC helped the grouping with registration as a cooperative and linked them to input suppliers as well as partners in value chain.

2015/16 growing season, Savior and her group realized a bumper yield from beans as well as soya. She attributed the bumper harvest to “double row system” of planting legumes which she learnt from AICC and described it as a wonder working method of planting legumes.

 When the harvest was brought together, Savior and her group aggregated 70 metric tons of soya and beans, a harvest that other people admired and wondered how it happened with a group of 11 people. Every member of Savior’s group (Mwahenga Cooperative) was happy as they knew their wave of a better experience in farming had arrived. AICC linked the cooperative to Super Star which bought all the commodity at MK 600 per Kg. From the money realized, Savior used her portion to pay for school fees to her children, finalize construction of her house, bought a motorcycle as well as buying more inputs for the coming growing season.

From 2015, a lot of farmers have been showing interest and have come together to form cooperatives in Rumphi. For Savior Nkhonjera, this  era completely changed her life and as of  now she is able to diversify in farming, she has a lot to sell, feed her family as well as help other people in her village. “I never regret being part of this initiative, AICC is a redeemer!” says Savior Nkhonjera.

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Malawi

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