A tomato scheme for the youth in Salima says it is in the process of searching for reliable markets for its produce to prevent unscrupulous buyers from ripping them off.
A multitude of vendors is said to be flocking pressing for orders at very low prices, according to Vice chair for Ubale Scheme Ireen Robert.
‘‘We organized ourselves into this agricultural activity to uplift our lives. As such, we need reliable markets that can offer good prices,” Robert said.
She said they a lot of tomato produced from a one and half acre piece of land.
Ubale tomato scheme is one of the products from Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) through community empowerment projects the faith based organization is implementing in Group Village Head Chifundo in Salima.
Treasurer of Ubale Youth Project Chikayiko Maso said their youth scheme has benefitted much from EAM through trainings that have helped many youths to refrain from common problems in the area that include early marriages, drug and alcohol abuse.
Maso added that school dropout rate in villages surrounding the scheme was worse because lack of role models and life skills education for the youths.
‘‘This agriculture project has proved to the community that the youth can be productive citizens if they consider farming as a business,’’ Maso said.
He added that proceeds realized from the project assist vulnerable children like orphans and the poor by providing school fees that promotes education in the process.
The youth scheme is looking forward to replace obsolete treadle pumps to make their farming appealing, according to Maso.
‘‘We work together with People Living with HIV and who find these treadle pumps difficult to use and this has led to some quitting the project.
‘‘We want to buy an engine that would make our work easier because the water will be pumped electronically,’’ he said.
Apart from agriculture, EAM established Star Circles to assist in fighting discrimination of PLHIV who are now able to demand services from office bearers