SIMA IS FOOD BUT NOT THE ONLY FOOD-SAYS BISHOP RYAN

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

Bishop John Ryan has urged Malawians not to take nsima as the only staple food in the country which can help people to stay health.

The bishop said this today at St Thomas the Apostle Parish where he celebrated mass of risen  Christ and offered the sacrament of confirmation to over 120 people.

Speaking in an interview after mass the Bishop said Malawi has enough maize this year because it had received good rains, however he urged Malawians not to depend only on maize as the main crop.

“Yes we know Sima is very important to us as Malawians but lets change our mindset that Sima is not the only food that we can eat to stay health we have other crops that are good to our health.

This year we have bumpy yields because we had good rains we thank God for that, lets continue planting more crops together as one way preventing crop diseases thereby having more food”, He Adds.

The Bishop commended the work of Catholic Development Commission (CADECOM) which is helping farmers in crop diversity in the country.

“To make sure that people have enough food, the church through CADECOM is working with people in Mzimba to promote sustainable production of vegetables and honey at St Padre Pio and St Augustine Parish this helps to have more food”, he adds.

Right Rev John Alphonsus Ryan Bishop of Mzuzu Diocese in February this year presided over and launched a project which aims at saving lives of hunger stricken households through provision of life saving food during the 2016/17 consumption year in Rumphi and Mzimba district with support from Papal Emergency fund.

The message of the Bishop comes barely three months after the president of republic of Malawi Professor Arthur Peter Munthalika also asked Malawian not only to depend on nsima as staple food.

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VMMC DOES NOT PROMOTE PROMISCUITY-VMMC EXPERTS

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

Health Experts shades more light on Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision which youth in Mzuzu City claimed forces people to indulge in unprotected sex and promotes promiscuity.

In his remarks one of the experts in Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) MacLennan Mhone from St John’s Hospital said the youth needs to understand that VMMC goes together with behavior change.

“It doesn’t mean that once circumcised then you are free from HIV/AIDS, VMMC only reduces chances of contracting HIV/AIDS by 60 percent”, he said.

Adding he said, “This does not mean people should start having unprotected or multiple sex in the name of VMMC, people should understand that there is 40 percent this means being faithful and abstinence has to be observed too”.

Mhone encouraged people to go for circumcision as it does not only protect people from contracting HIV virus but also protects women from contracting virus which causes cervical cancer in women.

Speaking to Radio Tigabane youth from different parts of Mzuzu City demanded more information on VMMC hence saying the action encourage prostitution and risky to HIV contraction.

“We are surprised, instead of sensitizing people on the dangers of multiple sex partners  and HIV/AIDS advocating organizations for male circumcision are focusing very much on VMMC that it reduces chances of getting HIV by  60%  this is putting more lives in danger of getting HIV people think of trying”, they said.

Adding youth said, what they know is that the epidemic is still claiming a lot of lives in Malawi with almost half of them being circumcised.

“All what we know is that HIV/AIDS is real, and the best way to avoid getting the virus is by abstinence, but  we wonder with organization who encourage circumcision somehow they are promoting promiscuity”, they added.

The government of Malawi and some Non-governmental organizations are advocating for medical male circumcision in Malawi as a way of reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.

ST PATRICK’S FOUNDATION DONATES MIN BUS TO ST PATRICK SEMINARY

IMG_20151202_020928_hdrBy Augustine Kambuzi Banda

St Patrick’s Foundation has donated a min bus worth 9 million to St Patrick’s Seminary to help students and staff members to travel properly

According to Board chair for St Patrick’s Foundation, Francis Gondwe said the initiative to buy a min bus came following a plea by former rector of the seminary Fr Daniel Kamanga.

“Fr Kamanga former Rector approached us about the hiccups the school was facing on transport and because we also went under same school we thought of buying a minibus.

We are thankful to all people who helped us in fundraising to buy this minibus even non-Catholics pledged”, added Gondwe.

The national coordinator for St Patrick’s foundation Cheke Ziba, asked the seminary to take care of the minibus.

“What we anticipate is that the school should be able to take care of the minibus especially by servicing at all time”, Said Ziba.

Receiving the gift the Rector of St Patrick’s Minor seminary Fr Samuel Ng’oma commended the foundation for its support to the seminar

Fr Samuel Ng’oma said the min bus will help the seminary to mitigate travel costs which the seminary was using in hiring transport for seminarians for long journey.

“I want to thank the foundation for buying the school a minibus this will help us to cut transport costs, this is not the only time they have assisted the seminary so we thank them”, Said Fr Ng’oma.

Acknowledging the development Right Reverend Bishop John Ryan hailed the foundation for the initiative to the seminary, he said the foundation has shown a good gesture which others should emulate.

For decades the seminary had a routine of hiring public transport which was putting the lives of seminars in danger.

 

SPRODETA INVEST IN CAR HIRE BUSINESS

IMG-20170418-WA0006One of the coaster for hire

By Augustine kambuzi Banda

The Small Producers Development and Transporters Association has ventured into a car hire business that aims at offering various transport services in the country.
This means that apart from its vision which focuses on helping small scale farmers in food security, resilient and economically improved lives, the association also embarks car hire as an income generating activity.

In making sure that the business should be viable, Sprodeta has already bought a Mini Bus amounting close to 4 Million Kwacha (about $6300) and a Toyota Paso which is about 946 Thousand Kwacha (about $1300).

In an interview with the Finance Administrator for Sprodeta Paul Mazunda said the development is of great important as it will strengthen the organization as it has been depending on donor support to implement its project which is now dwindling.
“Today there is too much competition to get support from donors because there are many organization applying for donor aid.
The only remedy to this is by starting an income generating activity that is why we have purchased the two vehicles as a starting point”, added Mazunda.
However Mazunda said venturing in such business does not mean the organization will stop its project with farmers in the country.
“I want to assure our partners especially small scale farmers that as Sprodeta we will continue working with them in all our projects because that is our core value of our existence”, He said

In his remarks one of Tax owners in Mzuzu City Silvester Kapondera said when new people venture into the same business it brings high competition on the market which also improves services that the business offers to customers.
“It’s obvious any business person want to be a sole play on the market as to have more customer in order to make profits.
It’s a wakeup call to us as taxi owners to find ways of improving customers services because there is competition”, Added Kapondera.
As one way of market expansion the organization plans to spread across the country in 5 years. The organization currently is working with over 10,000 local farmers in Mzimba district.

The organization was formed in 2009 by Board of Trustees in consultation with local leaders and aims at empowering small producers and marginalized men, women and youth so that they achieve sustainable development.

CADECOM YALIMBIKISKA WALIMI PA ULIMI WA NTCHUNGA KU MZIMBA

Wakulemba: Augustine Kambuzi Banda.

Wupu wa Cadecom wa diocese ya Mzuzu ulikwamba ntchito ya kulutiska pa nthazi  ulimi wa mbuto izo zili mu gulu la ntchunga ngeti skawa, tchunga na soya.

Ntchito iyi yikugwirika ku Champhira EPA mboma la Mzimba na Kaluluma EPA mboma la Kasungu.

Kwakuyanda na mlala wa upu wa Cadecom mu diocese ya Mzuzu a Shadrek Munthali wati ulimi wa ntchunga ungamanya kukwezga chuma cha chalo chino.

Iwo wayowoya ivi ku Radio Tigabane wati wayendera walimi wanji ku Kaluluma EPA na Champhira EPA, wa munthali wati walimi wayamba makola chomene pa ulimi wa tchunga.

“Ivyo nawona kuno vyakukondweska chomene, vikuphala kuti masambilo awo tikawasambizga walimi yakusankha mbuto yiwemi wakaya pulikiska makola.

Ulimi wa  mbuto za gulu la tchunga ndiwo panyengo ya sono ungatukula walimi wanadi kuluska ulimi wa hona, naumo nawonera walimi withu chaka chino vikuwonseska kuti wasangenge phindu likulu chomene chifukwa wanji mwa iwo misika wayisanga kale”,Ndimo wakayowoyera a Munthali.

Yumoza mwa walimi wakwandaniska mbuto ya soya a Attire Phiri kufuma ku Kaulusi section ku Champhira EPA wati wakupambaniska chomene phindu ilo wakalisanganga pakwamba pambere wandasambizgike vya kupanda mbuto yiwemi na sono apo wakuti wasangenge phindu likulu chomen.

“Ine ulimi wa soya nkhayambako nikale kulima kweni phindu pawevyenge mwachiyerezgero, pa 1 hectara nkhasanganga waka matumba 10 ya 50 kgs apo sono umo nalimila 1 hetactare na upangili wa Cadecom nikwaniskenge mathumba 30  gha 50kgs”, wakalogosola a Phiri.

A phiri wati pa ulimi wa chilimika chino wapanda mbuto ya soya wa makwacha wakukwana 60 kgs pa hectare yimoza, iwo wati wakukhazga kuti chilimika chino wasangenge phindu likulu chomene pa ulimi wa soya.

“Nakuti sono nidupulenge makopala chifukwa ine musika nilikuwusanga kale ndipo tilikupangana kuti wazamunigula 400 kwacha pa kg yimoza apo kale pa kg yimoza tikaguliskanga waka 120 kwacha ndipo phindu pakawevye kweni sono nkhuwona kuti nitukukenge chomene”, wakadenentha a Phiri.

A phiri wakati phindu ilo walisangenge pa ulimi wa soya liwavwirenge pa kupwererera banja lawo, iwo wakajithemba kuti ngolo, ngo’ombe panji galimoto wagulenge kwizila mu ndalama za soya chilimika chino.

Ndipo pakuthirira nthendelo pa umo walimi wapindulirenge na ulimi wa mbuto za ntchunga mlangizi wa upu wa Cadecom a Temwa Moyo wakati walimi ku chigawa cha Champhira wawoneska phamphu pakulondezga makola masambiro gha kusankha mbuto ziwemi.

“Nga mlangizi ndine wakukondwa chomene kuwaona umo walimi walimila mbuto zawo vikuwoneka kuti wasangenge phindu likulu chomene chaka chino wanji mwa walimi withu misika wayisanga kale ivyo vyatikwezga nkhumbi nga Cadecom”, Ndimo wakayowoyera a Moyo.

Pakuyowoya na Radio Tigabane mlangizi mulala wa Cadecom ku Nkhamenya wa Stalin Shaba wapanga chikwelete na walimi awo wandasangilenthu  misika ya mbuto zawo za gulu la ntchunga.

“Kwa walimi withu awo wandasange misika khuwaphalira kuti waleke kudinginyika chifukwa wupu wa Cadecom unozgenge viwoneskero ivyo walimi wazamuwa na mwawi wakusaska mbuto zawo kwa ma vendor ndipo tili na chigomezga kuti kwizila mu nthowa iyi wazamuvwirika chomene”, Ndimo wakayowoyera a Shaba.

Wupu wa Cadecom ukugwira ntchito ya kulutiska pa nthazi ulimi wa ntchunga mwakukoleranako na school ya masambilo ghavya ungwantha ya Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources na Wageningen University of Research. Panyengo ya sono ntchito iyi yafikila kale walimi pafupifupi 3,000.

 

TOMATO FARMING BOOST LOCAL FARMERS IN MZIMBA

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

If you are travelling to or from Lilongwe using M1 Road passing through Jenda rural growth center without buying Tomato then you are missing the most palatable Tomato most people cherish in the country which has also made most farmers improve their living standards.

The most Tomato that people buy in the country emanates from the areas of Champhira Extension Planning Area which are then transported to Jenda rural growth where selling and buying of Tomato reigns.

One well-known Tomato farmer in the area of Group Village Head Man Mswaphira Traditional Authority Maulabo in Mzimba, who have realized tremendous profits from Tomato sells Tobias Mwandira can sing songs of joy with farming.

In an interview with him, he boosted to have managed buying 2 Cattle’s at 180,000 kwacha ($240) 4 Goats at 60,000 kwacha ($80) one DT Motorbike at 850,000 kwacha ($1,133), Mwandila anticipate to buy a vehicle this year.

“After selling Tomato last year I managed to buy Cattle, Goats, one Motorbike and Dstv, am able to support my family through tomato farming.

My family is living a happy life we are in the village but able to watch soccer on Dstv people think these things are only possible for those who live in the City.

This year my plan is to buy a vehicle for transportation of my produce to the market, currently am using an oxcart and we usually travel at night to sell tomato at Jenda which gives pleasure and put our lives in danger”, he adds.

Despite these achievements Mwandila said in Tomato farming there are a lot problems which hinders yields, for instance he said pests and diseases are some of the challenges though technical intervention are planned to mitigate them.

“Tomato is one of the most difficult crops to cultivate it needs to much attention from the farmer, this year army worms engulfed our fields but we managed to treat them with pesticides”, said Mwandila.

Apart from Tobias Mwandila there are also other farmers in the same area who sing songs of joy with tomato farming, it’s like a tale of two cities, while people are making money in rural areas some people who flocked in urban areas to seek for greener pastures distinguishes town life with home.

In his remark Godfrey Chirwa from the same area who has stayed in Mzuzu City for 6 years said he has gained nothing tangible from city life.

Chirwa said he was shocked to find tremendous achievement his friends have gained through Tomato Farming when he visited his home.

“I was surprised looking at how people have improved at home, they have built houses roofed with iron sheets some have even bought motorbikes, the truth is that people in our area have improved, we were far much behind comparing with other villages but today things have changed.

Yes in town here we find money but not compared with what our friends have gained at home life is expensive today in our city which does not satisfy our unlimited needs, and because of this very soon I will be also settling home to start farming”, he adds

Meanwhile one of the leading organization in Mzuzu city which work with small farmers in the country Sprodeta says one way to help farmers gain profits  on the market is to create cooperatives where farmers will be pricing there produce together.

In an interview with Paul Mazunda who work as Finance Administrator said cooperatives helps farmers to sell their produce at a better price compared to farmers selling to vendors without involving cooperative which blocks farmers from developing.

“As Sprodeta we believe in empowering farmers through capacity building, we have already built market shelters where farmers sell their produce, one shelter is at Bwengu and another one at Kasambakholi along M1 road, a lot of people use this road which means some may buy their products.

Our plan is to form cooperatives which will empower farmers to find markets for their produce and sell at good prices, usually vendors take advantage of buying at a low price when they are buying to one farmer but this time farmers will be able  to face unscrupulous vendors”, he added.

Tomato is one of most commonly used fruits in kitchen across the globe for daily meals which s has an impact on the growth of the economy for countries which encourages farmers to venture in tomato farming rather than tobacco which has stopped trending well on the market.

ST JOHNS HOSPITAL IN MZUZU TO HOLD BIG WALK

IMG-20170406-WA0009

By Augustine Kambuzi Banda

Saint John’s Hospital in Mzuzu which is under  the Catholic Church is set to hold a big walk on 6 may 2017 which is meant to fundraise funds for buying laboratory equipment which are worn out and outdated at the Hospital.

Speaking in an interview yesterday one of the senior Administrators Miss Elizabeth Philemon confirm the development.

 She said the money to be raised will help in purchasing of new equipment which are worn out at the Hospital. Elizabeth said the total budget is over 150 million kwacha ($200,000).

“It is true, we have organized a big walk on 6 may 2017 starting from Ekwendeni to our   hospital. Our aim is to fundraise money to buy equipment and our budget is about 150 million kwacha so far we managed to conduct BP Testing campaign in the City of Mzuzu but we raised very little money.

Apart from big walk we have also printed some T Shirts selling at 6,000 kwacha, we know St John’s Hospital was opened long time ago and has helped thousands of Malawians, today we are facing a lot of challenges it’s a plea to well-wishers and all Malawian for donations”, She said.

In his remarks Dr Timothy Kachitosi from St John’s Hospital expressed fear of poor service delivery due to lack of equipment, he made an appeal to all well-wishers to donate  equipment  they can afford so that the Hospital can deliver to its standards.

“We are in need of these equipment’s so that our job is delivered perfectly, the scarcity of such resources would mean many referrals to Central hospital which does not mean that we have failed our work but because of lack of Machines for operations”, he said

Some of the equipment that are urgently needed at the hospital are oxygen machines, autoclaves, Bp Machines Manual and Digital, Compressors, Resuscitaire, Ambulance just to mention a few.

Acknowledging the problem the Vicar General of Mzuzu Diocese Father Andrew Chunda confirmed the challenges which St John’s Hospital and other Mission Hospitals are passing through, however he said the Diocese is trying it’s best to resuscitate the Hospitals to work properly.

St John’s Hospital is one of the prominent hospital in Mzuzu City which was established in the early 1960 with Missionaries of Africa, Currently saving the population of over 200 thousand people.