Mr. Chokochani Folopesi has lived in Kweteza village in the district of Lilongwe for all of his 39 years, and is a leader in the community. Thanks to agricultural and weather information provided by Farm Radio Trust radio programs, he and his family have been able to shift away from having to struggle with basic household provision. Across these decades, he has also witnessed an immense amount of climate change, especially in his role as a smallholder farmer with 12 1/2 acres of crops including maize, soya, paprika, groundnuts and common beans. All of his five children go to school, but help with the farm when they can. In fact, he notes that he is committed to providing the means for all of his children to complete their schooling. He talks about how much the use of inoculant has transformed his farm’s production, and credits Farm Radio Trust’s radio programming which is providing him and his community the necessary details to implement this practice. He gives clear examples, stating that one acre of non-inoculated soil yielded about 17 bags of soya weighing 50 kg each. This may sound like a lot, but Chokochani is quick to say that the same size of inoculated soil produced 25-30 bags. He is an inoculant convert and shares the advice to use inoculant with other members of his community. He told us that in shifting this practice, despite the unreliability of the climate, he has been able to strengthen his household’s wealth and resilience to the point of being able to upgrade basic elements, such as purchasing furniture and even constructing a new home and roof.  He supports his community as well by employing casual labourers who work on his land. These workers also appreciate and observe some of the innovative farming practices he has learned by listening to Farm Radio Trust’s programming. He says that his higher yields and success have made neighboring farmers understand the impact of broadcasting and the range of important information that radio provides. He also notes that following FRT advice of planting double rows of crops as well as intercropping have helped his farm to develop resilience against the obvious climate change factors he has seen his years in this rural area. Once again, mobile technology in the form of radio and sms messages have been central for Chokochani to provide for his family and improve his farm.

 

 

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