All farmers demand and access high quality
Agricultural extension services
To provide demand driven Agricultural extension services in partnership with civic, NGO, private and farmer organisations and to promote equalisation and coordination in service provision in order to achieve food, nutrition and income security.
To coordinate all technical departments of the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and water development in the delivery of agricultural extension services.
The Department implements its activities through Agricultural Development Divisions which are located in eight ecological zones of the country namely, Lilongwe, Blantyre, Salima, Kasungu, Machinga, Shire Valley, Karonga and Mzuzu and in all the 28 districts in the country. The Department offers various services to the farming communities through sub branches namely:
- EXTENSION METHODOLOGIES AND SYSTEMS
Responsible for developing extension approaches and systems for extension delivery
- AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATION BRANCH
Responsible for developing and distributing print and electronic agricultural messages
- AGRIBUSNESS DEVELOPMENT
Responsible for promoting commercialization of agriculture
- FOOD AND NUTRITION
Responsible for ensuring that households achieve food and nutrition security through diversified production and diets
- AGRICULTURE GENDER ROLES AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Responsible for mainstreaming gender, HIV and AIDS in Agricultural policies, programs and projects.
District agricultural Extension Services System
The department implements its activities using the District Agricultural Extension Service System (DAES). The system promotes collaboration among stakeholders and assists farmers to articulate their needs or demands for appropriate action by relevant stakeholders.
APPROACHES IN THE DELIVERY OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICES
To ensure that farmers of all gender categories have access to extension services various approaches are used which include:
- THE MODEL VILLAGE APPROACH
This is a village where subjects are committed to working together with various service providers to achieve their vision.
CLUSTERS AND MINDANDANDAs
These are platforms for technology dissemination where a collection of farmers manage similar agricultural enterprises in the same catchment area or locality. A Mndandanda is a stretch of well managed fields of different crops.
FARMER FIELD SCHOOLS
These are platforms where farmers of all gender categories acquire knowledge and skills through self discovery using a practical school model approach .
Farm business school is a school that trains farmers to practice farming as a business by bringing them together to carry out collective and collaborative inquiries with the purpose of initiating farmers to solve problems.
This is aimed at increasing extension coverage for improved adoption of technologies using farmer to farmer extension approach. A lead farmer is described as a farmer who has mastered a specific technology and is willing to support fellow farmers.
- AGRICULTURAL RESOURCE CENTRES
This is a centre for technology and information dissemination where information and technologies are showcased for easy and equitable access by farmers and other stakeholders.
- MULTIMEDIA AGRICULTURAL CAMPAIGNS
This is a campaign that involves the use of different channels in disseminating agricultural information to farmers such as radio, mobile vans, drama, flyers etc
FARMER ORGANISATIONS (clubs, cooperatives, schemes and associations)
This improves farmers’ access to business services such as inputs and output markets, credits, trainings and extension services through increased bargaining power since it encourages farmers to practice farm business as a group
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