COMMUNITIES EMBARK ON IRRIGATION FARMING

FarmingDowa is one of 38 districts in Malawi, covers an area of 3,041km2, and is located immediately north of the center of the nation. It is estimated to currently have a population of 700,000 people. The people live in small village areas and earn a living by cultivating small pieces of land for food and cash.

In 2017, the Malawi Project worked with two faith-based, community development organizations in an effort to alleviate the suffering of these farmers. Both groups are northwest and north of the capital in Traditional Authority Chiwere’s area of jurisdiction in Dowa Hills and the Lilongwe Plain. Both groups worked tirelessly to build grain reserves for their communities. They are named, “Joseph Projects 1 and 2”. The program is designed to help small farmers save food for use in lean times.

Community warehouses were built in each location, with the local residents providing both labor and materials. The Malawi Project provided cement, roofing sheets, timber and other materials. It is truly a joint effort.

The communities have achieved success and are proud of their effort. It will shape their future, as well as that of their children.

IRRIGATION TRAINING CONDUCTED

After completion of the Joseph Project in its community, the northern group at Joseph Project 2 embarked on yet another project, the use of drip irrigation, as well as a water pump to increase the water supply to the fields. With the aid of the water pump, provided by the Malawi Project to Joseph Project 2, the farmers are working on a winter cropping program, raising maize and potatoes.

A weeklong irrigation training program was conducted at Joseph Project 2, with a total of 33 farmers participated. At no cost, an Agriculture Instructor volunteered to train the farmers after seeing their commitment to the program. “It’s so encouraging to note that the farmers have come together and worked as a team,” Alex Nunu observed after training the farmers in modern agriculture practices.

The training included theory, as well as practical application. Theoretically, the farmers were taught that the first job that God gave human beings is that of taking care of the environment and managing crops in the garden of Aden. “As Christians, we need NOT be short of food because God taught us from the beginning to farm and grow crops,” the Instructor emphasized.

Practically, the farmers were trained on how to make sinking beds that would hold water for a long period of time. Using small hand hoes, the men and women labored all day to ensure that their dream would be successful. The garden borders a 600m sizeable body of water from a nearby river.

In his remarks, the group’s chairperson Mr. Mapila said the start of the irrigation program is a challenge the group has taken with boldness. “We will continue working with the Malawi Project. We are ready to help change our lives. We can only influence the change of our future through hard work and availability of resources”.

Report by: Wilson Tembo