A farmers’ voice

My name is Leonard Siabbami a farmer in Siamucaala village of Mweemba Chiefdom, I am 50 years old and a happy beneficiary of the farmer training programme under School Club Zambia. Before the training was launched at Siamucaala Primary School I had a lot of challenges with my crops as many were being attacked with pesticides while some were stunted. Nevertheless, being located in a remote area I based my farming on indigenous knowledge which made it almost impossible to succeed as times have changed therefore, certain challenges demands for improved knowledge.

In 2019, School Club Zambia was generous enough to launch a farmers’ training program at Siamucaala. I was among the first group of people to register as participates. The training started as soon as the registration closed and we used to meet every first week of the month with the extension officer from the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Zulu. During the training I learnt a lot of things among others was; the importance of crop diversification as some crops are nitrogen fixing plants meanwhile others prevent soil erosion, organic farming as well as how to combat pest attacks. Furthermore, Mr Zulu and Mr Siakubandu also conducted field visits and exchange visits among farmers and during the visits he did the following activities: inspecting the growth of the crops, giving appropriate recommendations on how to deal with specific challenges, he also made sure that there was knowledge exchange among farmers. A few months later, I gathered courage and planted finger millet and groundnut, having faith of a farmer I expected anything but the best results were what I hoped for. Honestly I was so surprised with the harvest, in a longtime I had such a great yield! It really encouraged me further to plant sunflower, maize and vegetables from the shop. The training came at the right time when I desperately needed it, I can attest that my agriculture knowledge and skills didn’t remain on the same level.

Thank you School Club Zambia for such an amazing programme as I have benefit more than I expected, your consideration to extend the training to Siamucaala wasn’t in vain as farming is the main source of income in remote areas. Through this programme I raised enough funds to support my children through school as well as the house up keep.