Stories from the field

thumbnail
© IFAD
Irrigation project brings water back to the fields in Malawi

Water is of great concern in Malawi, particularly for agriculture. Most farmers have to rely on weather conditions and unpredictable rainfall for their crops. Irrigation is scarcely developed and the few large-scale government irrigation schemes have been neglected and fallen into disrepair. As a result, agricultural productivity is low and production erratic.

Source: IFAD

thumbnail
© IFAD
Farmers' associations: unleashing innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit

In the Lilongwe district of Malawi, a farmers’ association has made a significant difference in the lives of the local community by providing training and enabling its members to negotiate higher prices for their crops. With his extra income, one smallholder farmer has improved his family’s situation by investing in solar power as a creative way to generate even more additional revenue.

Source: IFAD

thumbnail
© IFAD
Learning to run a business: The Matuwa Small-scale Dairy Company

Many smallholder farmers in Malawi rely on subsistence farming, which often does not produce enough food for them and their families. Further, these farmers have limited skills and agricultural knowledge to diversify crops or supplement their income from other reliable sources. The IFAD-supported Rural Livelihood Support Programme (RLSP) is implemented in the three southern districts of Chiradzulu, Nsanje and Thyolo in 2004 to tackle these issues and help provide the adequate training small-scale farmers need to diversify crops or develop new businesses.

Source: IFAD

thumbnail
© IFAD
Learning new horticultural techniques to raise income

Lobi is one of the most remote areas in Malawi. Located west of the market town of Dedza along the Mozambican border, it takes one hour travelling on a track road to reach the area. Until very recently, farmers could not grow enough to guarantee food security, but had to rely on erratic and limited harvests of vegetables and maize which often ran out before the next crop was harvested.
 

Source: IFAD

thumbnail
© IFAD
Establishing food security by improving maize production

Many smallholder farmers, who account for most of the agricultural sector in Malawi, use rudimentary agricultural techniques, plant haphazardly and pay little attention to the quality of maize and the use of fertilizers. As a result, productivity has been extremely low and soil fertility has gradually declined. This further worsens the farmers’ situation and keeps them in a cycle of extreme poverty.

Source: IFAD