Oct16WedConservation agriculture techniques in Malawi increase yields for small-scale farmers. October 16, 2019 by Manjita Biswas
(Above) “I thank God and The Salvation Army for teaching me conservation farming techniques. I am now living a good life with my family,” says Matias
Matias grew up in Kela, a rural village in Malawi. He makes a living by farming his family’s one-acre plot of land, usually harvesting about five bags of maize, barely enough to sustain his family. But with droughts and flooding in recent years, his yield had declined significantly.
Then he received training on conservation agriculture as part of a sustainable agriculture project provided through The Salvation Army. By applying the lessons he learned from the training sessions, Matias was able to harvest 32 bags of maize. He kept 12 bags for household consumption and sold 20 bags. With his earnings, he was able to start his own grocery business.
Matias is one of 300 small-scale farmers who learned new ways of improving crop yields through conservation agriculture. Many are now doubling and tripling their original outputs. The farmers are overjoyed to see higher yields and are encouraging neighbouring farmers to use the same techniques.
Based on the success of this project, a three-year sustainable agriculture project between the Canada and Bermuda Territory, the Malawi Territory and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank is planned to support more farmers in need in Kela.
Donations to The Salvation Army’s account at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank are matched 1:1. The impact of your generous support will be multiplied, and will contribute to The Salvation Army’s mission of sustainable development.
Manjita Biswas is the program director for overseas projects in the world missions department.