The Challenge - Extreme climate, degenerated soil, and inability to afford seeds, inputs and capital equipment.
In the remote, rural areas of Malawi, more than 90% of the villagers rely on rain-fed subsistence farming to survive, and hunger is common.
There is only one “rainy” season each year - usually expected from November to March, and the single annual maize harvest depends on the quality of these rains. Maize is the major crop here, and the basis for “nsima” the staple diet, the thick, heavy, carbohydrate basis for most meals, usually eaten rolled in a little “relish” - a vegetable or meat accompaniment.
But the climate can be erratic, volatile and increasingly unpredictable - ranging from devastating floods to searing drought.
Maize crop yields have been dropping as villagers wrestle with the combined challenges of extreme weather, over- dependence on the single crop, declining soil fertility, shortage of land, seed, and high costs of chemical inputs as prices soar...
Agri training - above: preparing a compost pit, below: practical planting
Agri-training: preparing a compost pit