UTAWALEZA FARM PROJECT
Utawaleka Farm Project is made for and by local farmers employed to work in the farm. The farm has total area of about 35 hectors, and only 27 hectors is under cultivation 2017/218 season. Crop production is main department with 10 hectors maize, sunflower 5 hectors, ginger 5 hectors, garlic should be 5 hectors, banana 1 hectors, sugarcane 0.4 hectors and 5 hectors for horticultural crops (tomato and leafy vegetables).
Field management is vital for the growth and development of the crop to achieve the maximum yield. The Farm is achieving food security, all fields are utilised according to work plan and budget funding supporting different activities on a season. This reveal 2017/2018 season so far towards success.
UTAWALEZA FARM – MODEL AGRICULTURAL INVESTIMENT
It might seem the diocese of Mangochi relies on the 24 parishes which fall under the diocese for its sustainability, but the diocese has a great vision and respect on independence. Surely the funds from the parishes get to the diocese for administration purposes but the Parish vision on a more reliable strategy to run the diocese without burdening the parishes hence the Utawareza farm was born.
Utawaleza farm is a project which was developed in 2003 under Koche parish and was handed over to the diocese when it grew for proper sustainability. Just as the diocese is there to preach the gospel, it has a role of taking care of all the aspects of life as in spiritually and the body. The church believe that it has to take care of the whole human being by promoting self dependence as well and by what the pastoral secretary who is also the bishop’s secretary Fr. Steven Kamanga said one of the reasons in establishing and sustaining the farm was to teach the community self dependence,that people should not desire to be helped only by government or other well wishers and charity organizations but they should learn to use the available resources around them to build their homes and lives.
In as much as the farm is used for charity works when hunger hit the diocese and surrounding areas, it is there for commercial purposes in which its funds are used to run the diocese’s activities.
The farm is run by experts in Agriculture .It produces and sells crops such as maize, sun flower ,sugar cane and all sorts of vegetables just to mention a few. It rears broilers and layers and the money realized from there is part of the church property.
As a farm with a vision Utawareza has not been spared by the problem of marketing in Malawi, just like every farmer who produces good and quality agricultural products, Utawareza has faced the challenge of good markets for instance the chickens have been producing more eggs recently which made very hard for them to find a good market for them. However they have never decided to give up, instead they decided to add value to the produce.
This development has also helped in raising other farmers hope in their work as it acts as market for them. The farm has an oil making machine has a large capacity as such we buy sun flower from other farmers to meet the capacity of our machine, we decided to add value to the produce so as to also provide quality products to the people around us.
The Farm has bakery which produces wheat bread and plans are their for the bakery to start producing bread from local crops such as cassava.
The farm is doing a lot of good to the people around Koche parish for threw is also a source of employment but the church would love for government to look at it as an example and help farmers around Lake Malawi use the lake for their benefits in eradicating hunger in the country.
Mangochi diocese has two farms one which is being developed in Lungwena in Mangochi district and the Utawareza farm as well a pigsty where pork is produced and sold out on the market,All this falls under social projects one of the arms of the diocese.