By Lansen Chikopa Development Services Unit Coordinator
Exagris Africa recently distributed push bikes to its lead farmers across the country to help them as they provide extension services to their auxiliary farmers. The bikes were procured with funding from the Dutch Government through an Afri-nut project called Going Nuts. Exagris has shareholding in ‘Afri-Oils Limited’ hence is mandated through the project to train up to 20,000 smallholder farmers in the production of high quality groundnuts. The groundnuts will then be processed at ‘Afri-Oils Limited’, which is a peanut processing company. The project is implemented in partnership with a Dutch NGO known as Sympany on one hand and ‘Afri-Oils Limited’ (Exagris and NASFAM) and DAPP Malawi on the other.Since it may not be easy to reach out to 20,000 farmers, the Exagris follows the farmer to farmer (FTF) training approach. It is against this background that Exagris through ‘Afri-Oils Limited’ procured and distributed a total of 182 bicycles to the lead farmers in its impact areas so that their mobility challenges are eased.The bicycles were distributed to the lead farmers that the company works with in Mangochi, Salima, Dedza, Lilongwe, Mchinji, Mzimba and Rumphi. The bicycles were distributed to the lead farmers around the Exagris farms in the mentioned districts except in Dedza where they were distributed in Mayani as there is no Exagris Farm but have a huge presence through support to smallholder farmers.The farmers did not hide their happiness during the presentation ceremonies which took place in the different farms on different dates from February to April 2017. It is expected that with this support more farmers will get basic extension services from their peers. The lead farmers promised to work hard to ensure production of high yields of good groundnuts which eventually shall be processed at ‘Afri-Oils Limited’ factory.