BY CYNTA PHIRI 20/02/2014 President Joyce Banda listens attentively to one of the beneficiaries of farmers passing on goats to new beneficiaries at Robert Mseteka Village in Mzimba-pic by Lisa Vintulla

President Dr Joyce Banda says she is impressed by the success of livestock pass-on programme in Robert Mseteka Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mtwalo in Mzimba District.

Banda made the remarks at a brief ceremony where farmers who have benefited in Presidential Initiative on Poverty and Hunger Reduction last year handed over goats to 15 colleagues. One of the beneficiaries of a farmer passing on goats receives a certificate from President Joyce Banda at Robert Mseteka Village in Mzimba-pic by Lisa Vintulla

She was en route to Bolero in Rumphi District where she held a mass rally.

The programme, which has also A Cow a Family initiative, targets vulnerable households in abject poverty to own and rear livestock such as cows and goats which are then passed on to another households once they have produced off-springs.

The President said she was impressed because it is clear that families who benefited from the initiative last year are poised to realize bumper harvest after applying manure from the goats to their maize fields.

“I am impressed by the crop situation here after you had made good use of the animals you received and made use of its manure apart from the fertilizer loan you got.

“I can see that you are poised to realize a bumper harvest when the crops are ready for harvest,” she said.

Banda explained that the programme she championed for will not only improve the nutrition status of beneficiaries, but also improve their economic wellbeing.

One of the beneficiaries, Winless Juba, hailed the initiative saying it has transformed her family.

“The programme has transformed our wellbeing; we are now able to pay school fees for our children. We’re also getting relish as well as manure which we have applied in our maize field.

“We would love to have this programme extended to others who are in a situation we were in,” she said.

The initiative started in the village with 15 famers. This year, the figure increased to 30 with the beneficiaries organized in farmers club.

A total of 23, 000 goats were distributed in the northern part of Mzimba district. Now there are 10, 000 off-springs ready to be passed on to new beneficiaries.