MALAWI, Phambala, Ntcheu District
Improving Food Security for 500 Farming Families. Funds for: organic seeds, tree seedlings, tools, irrigation equipment, pumps (6 treadle pumps in year 1 and possibly solar in years 2 and 3), rain gauges.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and it is the most densely populated country in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a short annual rainy season (November to December) and only 2% of the land is cultivated.
Of the population - 33% are undernourished and over 40% live on less than $1 a day.
Phambala is a drought prone area with erratic rain and poor soil fertility. Farmers struggle to grow crops for even 6 months of the year because of the lack of irrigation in the dry period.
This has led to chronic food insecurity. Communities in the area suffer from the devastating impacts of political and economic insecurity, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and other diseases. There is a lack of infrastructure and support services with only 1 physician per 100,000 people.
Beneficiaries: 500 farming families living in 6 villages.
Crops grown on 300 hectares will include: cassava, groundnut, maize, pigeon pea, soya, sweet potato, other vegetables, vetiver grass (prevents soil erosion and conserves water). Medicinal herbs will also be grown.
At least 16 types of indigenous legumous trees will be planted in community tree nurseries, on homesteads and in forest reserves. A further 3,000 trees will be grown from seedlings.
Training will be given to 500 people in sustainable organic agriculture, crop production, composting, coping strategies, community cohesion and marketing. Twenty people will be trained to be community agriculture advisers and a further 120 people will receive training on irrigation practices.
Sustainable agricultural techniques will make crops more resilient to the effects of erosion and drought, will help in rebuilding the soil and will improve harvests.
Crop diversification will reduce the risk of complete crop failure and will also conserve natural resources.
Irrigation equipment and treadle pumps will provide water for crops - enabling farmers to grow them all year round.
Seeds will be stored each season in seed banks, ensuring reliable access to seed for the continuation of the project - reducing the amount of extra seed that has to be bought in.
A revolving seed scheme will be set up. Seeds taken one year will be planted and given back the next year from seeds produced. It is expected that in this way seeds will be provided to an
additional 2000 farmers in the next 3 years.
This 3 year project will improve families' food security and nutrition by enabling food to be grown most months of the year. Surplus crops will provide an income from produce sold at local markets. After the first 3 years, the project should be self- supporting.
Financed through FIND YOUR FEET (London, UK), working with in- country partner LOMADEF (Lipangwe Organic Manure Demonstration