FRB’s Malawi-Chingale program offers extension services and training for crop production, crop diversification, small-scale irrigation, land resource management, and livestock restocking to a community devastated by the 2006 food crisis and high rates of HIV/AIDS. Participants learn appropriate farming practices, and receive further instruction on the environment, health, child nutrition, HIV/AIDS education, community-based child care, and adult literacy.
Here, four farmers tell how the program has helped them improve their lives and livelihoods through program assistance:
MAIZE: Mr. Faustino says that before he joined the program he was unable to harvest enough maize to feed his family for the whole year. Now his yields are enough to sustain the family from one harvest to the next, and he uses the extra income from selling his surplus to pay secondary-school fees for his daughter.
SOYBEANS: Miss Agness says having soy fields has changed the lives of her children. When they were infants she used to receive flour from a health center until they were weaned. After that, until she received soybean seeds from the program, it wasdifficult to feed her children enough to keep them healthy. She now grows and harvests enough soybeans to feed her family and sell extra for income, and was able to pay cash for fertilizer that will help her continue to improve her yields.
COW PEAS: Mrs. Mercy used a small seed allotment to start growing cowpeas on just under an acre of land from which she can harvest 8 to 10 50kg bags. She is now improving her yields with the fertilizer she bought with money she earned from selling her excess. Best of all, she says she no longer needs seeds from the program.
LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION: Mrs. Mary received goats in 2008 through a pass-on-the-gift arrangement. After completing her obligation to the next recipient, she’s earned enough from the sale of her goats every year to buy farm inputs like maize seed and fertilizer, and pay her daughter’s school fees. She currently has a total of twelve goats.
FRB's Malawi - Chingale program encompasses 51 communities, 2530 households and 12,650 individuals