Story written by Nobert Nyanjagha and Daniel Nyirenda
Being a person living with disability does not mean end of a story. This is a story of Henry Gondwe, one of the persons living with disability from Yakobe Singini village, TA Jalavikuwa in Bwengu EPA. He is 51 years of age happily married to Lostina Mwanza (48) with 6 (2F, 4M) children namely Sangwani, Emmanuel, Soriam, Catherine, Tasiyana and Zengani.
Henry sewing and weaving baskets in the pictures above.
Mr. Gondwe is talented in weaving and tailoring but farming is the only reliable source of livelihood. This being the case, Henry could always put much of his effort on it even though he could never meet his potential. The harvest was always not sufficient to feed the family throughout the year regardless of his effort. This was compounded by poor agronomic practices as he distanced himself from community grouping where modern extension services were being disseminated. Until one day in 2015 after heartedly convinced with the simplicity and effectiveness of adopting SA technologies which includes use of manure, mulching, construction of marker ridges, livestock production among others, she had learnt from the adjacent lead farmer, Patricia Mkandawire who was trained by Find Your Feet in the year 2015. This gave Gondwe a new insight as the technologies were cheap, not labour intensive and disability friendly. Mr. Gondwe automatically became the follower farmer by adopting the technologies.
‘I managed to make 78 bags of Mbeya manure of which, 20 bags were sold at MK3, 000 per bag and realized MK60, 000. The money was used to buy 3 bags of fertilizer and piglets for multiplication and enhance manure making. To date, I am a proud owner of 13 pigs ready for the market’. Said Henry. ‘Through the benefits realized from farming and livestock production, I am able to pay school fees amounting to MK20,000 per term for my children, Tasiyana and Zengani at Kacheche Community day Secondary school’. Added Henry.
Henry appeals to all PWDs and others to adopt sustainable agriculture technologies as it is the key to sustainable food production. He plans to increase his piglets business by raising more so that at the time for sale, he should realize more money and realize adequate manure for improved crop production