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Why Mwandama now laughs at hunger
Posted on Thursday 18 February 2010 - 08:29 Feature By Frazer Potani, Lilongwe, Malawi Malawi’s districts such as Mwanza, Neno, Nsanje, Chikhwawa and Zomba in southern region are struggling to come to terms with the drought and food shortages but not people in Mwandama Village in Traditional Authority Mlumbe in Zomba. Mwandama villagers are all wearing smiles because are both food secure and their lives have been transformed from poverty to prosperity. 40-year-old Rose Lenadi married with three children and also her late sister’s three children living with her, used to, few years ago struggle with her family to just have a single meal daily. This is now history because her family now swims in plenty food, thanks to Mwandama’s transformation from a hunger addicted bowl to a plenty food basket. “Around this time we used to sleep with nothing in our stomachs and many children especially under five suffered from malnutrition because the little food we produced and harvested would only last through August. For a period of six months we had no food,” said Lenadi also Vice Chairperson of her village’s committee. Previously, during this lean period most villagers worked in the surrounding tobacco estates to solicit little money to buy food. “This is not the case now because each household is food secure and currently in our community food bank built with donor support under MVP has 14,000 bags of maize, 200 bags of beans and another 200 of Soya beans each weighing 50 Kg,” said Lenadi. She added that the plenty grain produced in her village also FRAZER POTANI

” said Lenadi. villagers appealed to Malawi Government and its partners to among other things bring electricity. Rather than purchasing inputs on credit. According to UNDP. However. “At the rate which houses are wearing iron-sheets roofs in this village in few years to come there will be very few or no single hut thatched with grass. She also said her committee struggle to collect bags of maize from households for storage at the community food bank. and after harvest pay back two bags of maize to Mwandama Millenium Village Project (MVP) school feeding program. The grain is sold at a price below that of ADMARC to enable local villagers buy it.” said Lenadi. “We have to hire a 10 tone vehicle to transport the bags to our food bank and it’s very expensive. “Prospective millers are failing to install maize mills in our village because there is no electricity.” said Lenadi. some pregnant women deliver on the way to a health centre and in some cases some have died on the way yet these deaths were avoidable. every household receive fully subsidized two bags of fertilizer and other inputs at the start of the season. safe water and health facilities at Mwandama.000 households in our area.” said Lenadi as she wiped sweat on her forehead with a corner of her Chitenje (cloth).” said Lenadi.” said Lenadi. They disclosed that they have few boreholes and walk long distances to get access to them. The villagers also said have no health facility hence walk long distances to seek medical treatment when they get sick. “As a result. She disclosed that many houses in Mwandama Village have even removed and thrown away grass roofs replacing them with iron-sheets. Further Mwandama village committee also distribute food to households without food especially those headed by vulnerable groups such as widows.acts as a source for generating income for the village. the Mwandama MVP cluster started in 2003 in partnership with Malawi Government’s fertilizer subsidy program by providing maize seed and fertilizers at a subsidized rate. orphans and the elderly. She further said villagers also walk long distances as far as Thondwe to get to a maize mill for processing flour for nsima. “Last year alone we generated K24 million from grain sales. . “Since its establishment the MVP has transformed lives of up to 7.

The agency further says a child dies of malnutrition every six seconds worldwide and more than 2. vegetables. vegetables and herbs. tomatoes and groundnuts. The MVP has also extensively trained farmers in livestock management. Under the same project include Koraro (Ethiopia). population of over 35. Sauri and Dartu (Kenya). many of Mwandama’s farmers are diversifying their production to include high value fruits. The main cropping season for the village runs between November and April and most of the crops are harvested around May. Villagers in Mwandama are lucky because according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) eradicating hunger globally is a big challenge. Irish potatoes. producing crop yields averaging 5. The area is intensively cultivated both by smallholder farmers growing maize. Mbola (Tanzania). Potou (Senegal). Mwandama cluster had a tremendously successful harvest. post-harvest management. Pampaida and Ikaram (Nigeria). Mwandama area is characterized by native vegetation of the Miombo woodlands. The organization discloses that at least one billion people accross the globe suffer from pangs of hunger or one in six people in the 6. an increase of 1100 percent since the start of the project.5 tons of maize per hectare. Mayange (Rwanda). Ruhura (Uganda). Mwandama has seven villages. Tiby and Toya (Mali). pigeon peas. and by the commercial estate owners growing tobacco and maize. Presently. irrigation and compost manure production and further supported some households to begin beekeeping.000 and is one of MVPs clusters under UNDP and its partners meant to rescue vulnerable groups stuck in poverty in Africa with a slogan of ‘A New Approach to Fighting Poverty’.In 2007. cassava.5 billion plus population. Bonsaaso (Ghana). Livestock management is also practiced and the common livestock are chickens and goats.5 billion people worldwide depend for their income and nutrition on the efforts of small holder farming households particularly . Nearly 900 farmers have also participated in irrigation activities and winter cropping in the low-lying dambos.

” says organization adding that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon also considers food security one of global key priorities. Mutharika however. quick to say once fully implemented the Greenbelt project will stump out all existing pockets of hunger in Malawi. “Our challenge is not on how to ensure adequate food for the current 963 million hungry people. therefore will source food to provide it to the needy. He said his government is aware that some parts of Malawi are experiencing drought. Mutharika was however. Reply Please login first to reply or create an account.women farmers. but also how we are going to feed a world population of over 8. No wonder the FAO has praised President Bingu wa Mutharika for transforming Malawi from a food beggar to food producer and exporter within the region and beyond. said the battle against hunger in the country is not over.3 billion people by 2030. Share | Latest News .

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