Food insecurity was a problem for others, too, in the Chirambi community, Malawi, so people were mobilised and introduced to Foundations for Farming principles and self-help groups.
Similar programmes are being rolled out across the northern, southern and central parts of Malawi, and they are making a huge difference.
Foundations for Farming aims to bring transformation to individuals, communities and nations through faithful and productive use of land, while self-help groups bring life-changing skills and opportunities for those involved – often the very poorest people in society.
Practice brings hope
In Sylvia’s case, she faced an extra struggle because she hadn’t been properly trained in Foundations for Farming. Once she had learnt the theory and practice, she was better equipped to maximise her crop yield.
It took time and she faced challenges. Last year she had not been fully convinced by the method and had not mixed the locally made fertiliser correctly. The results were disappointing. But she persevered, and with the encouragement of those around her, she learnt more.
This year was much better and she is confident about the future. ‘In the 2018 farming season I will harvest 25 bags of maize, each weighing 50kg. I only need 18 to feed my family. The method really works,’ says Sylvia.
She adds: ‘Since 2017, we have been able to eat three meals a day.’
‘We even eat soya porridge,’ says her son Mickson.
Sylvia also grew enough groundnuts to fill six 50kg bags, worth about £200 at the market.