Lilongwe’s Gala Macs producing liquid bio-fertilizer for macadamia farming

The bio fertilizer being applied through pipe drip application

* Also producing honey at the farm whose main aim is for pollination of macadamia trees

* Improved agriculture systems being used include irrigation and crop processing systems

By Gift Chiponde, MANA

Minister of Agriculture Sam Kawale has commended Gala Macs for using advanced innovative approaches towards mega farm implementation in pursuit of achieving the MW2063 national vision.


This was after being impressed with 2,030 hectares of Gala Macs when he toured the Namitete-based when he toured farm in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

The Minister expressed satisfaction with Gala Macs for its use of improved agriculture systems, including irrigation and crop processing systems at the farm — which he said are contributing to the progress of the agriculture sector.

“We all witnessed how agriculture activities are being conducted at the farm, starting from the nursery to the farm and the processing systems, this truly indicates a strong dedication to agriculture investments by Gala Macs.”

The farm is producing liquid bio fertilizer intended for Macadamia and Kawale described this innovation as agriculture modernization that is complementing the vision of President Lazarus Chakwera of agriculture, tourism & mining (ATM) strategy.

Gala Macs is also producing honey at the farm whose main aim is for pollination of the macadamia trees and also for business purposes having trained 100 beekeepers and more are expected to be trained to manage 8,000 bee hives at the farm.

“I am very impressed with how Gala Macs is using every opportunity at their disposal for the beekeeping business — this is not a mean achievement for a local company like Gala Macs.

“The initiative will also add value to the company’s export earnings and maximise the country’s honey production,” said the Minister

Gala Macs’ Chief Executive Officer, Christo Bothma said the company will continue working with government in achieving and solving forex problems through macadamia export.

Bothma commended the Minister for the timely visit, saying it served as a platform for the company to address challenges it is facing in the macadamia business.

Meanwhile, farmers in Rumphi have been urged to prioritise crop diversification in order to promote food security and improve nutrition among farming households in the district.

On the sidelines of an agriculture field day which Mzuzu Agriculture Development Division organised, deputy program manager, Anderson Chikomola, said crop diversification will help farmers adapt to adverse effects of climate change that have made the country experience some rainfall breaks and cyclones, thereby affecting the agriculture sector.

“Farmers should be able to cultivate different crops which will help them have balanced diet,” Chikomola. “This is crucial because they will rely on other crops when others fail which will help them depend on farming as a business.”

The field day, organised together with Rumphi District agriculture extension coordinating committee held at Kawaza Primary School in Bolero extension planning area, was commemorated under the theme; ‘Building rural communities resilience through agricultural diversification and agri-business development’.

Rumphi District Council chairperson, Councillor Harry Mnyenyembe said agriculture field days are important because they help in making crop estimates and help farmers draw important lessons on agriculture production.

One of the farmers, Florence Nkhonjera — who grows bananas and rears pigs — encouraged fellow women to be economically independent and not solely rely on their husbands income.

“It is important for women to engage in farming because we are mothers and we have huge responsibilities of keeping our families,” she said. “We, therefore, dont need to solely depend on our husbands who also have other responsibilities.

Government is intensifying the concept of mega farms for food security and on Friday, the Minister of Agriculture handed over cheques worth K6.5 billion to 41 cooperatives from 13 districts across the country to boost agri-businesses for increased productivity and vibrant export market.

This is under a World Bank-supported initiative of the government flagship programme, Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) 2, which was launched by President Chakwera in November last year, with an aim of transforming smallholder agriculture from mostly subsistence to commercial.

At the presentation of the cheques at Malembo in Senior Chief Nankumba’s area in Mangochi, Kawale the agricultural transformation agenda has started taking shape.

Through AGCOM, Kawale said government expects to graduate majority of farmers, who have — for so many years — been practicing smallholder agriculture, without getting any tangible benefits.

“MW2063 clearly talks about agricultural mechanization, increase in productivity, as well as having a very vibrant export market and through empowering farmers with grants, we believe that help in reaching that goal.

“Through AGCOM, we want to see that our farmers are transformed into commercial and that is why over K600 billion is going to be invested into cooperatives in the coming few years.”

Kawale added that through programmes like AGCOM as well as mega farms initiatives, Malawi will soon be food secure and will generate enough income.

AGCOM national project coordinator, Ted Nakhumwa encouraged communities across the country to apply for the grant, by forming value addition groups of 20 members each.

Nakhumwa said through AGCOM 1, which phased out last year, livelihoods of most farmers in the country have tremendously improved.

Kawale also toured Mlambe Irrigation Scheme, under the Greenbelt Authority, which is amongst the mega farm initiative, where government intends to do commercial irrigation farming of close to 800 hectares.— Reporting from Rumphi and Mangochi by Manasse Nyirenda & Bishop Witmos, MANA