Irish Aid lauds our farm
15th March 2013:
Maybe Irish Aid didn’t know it, but this is our farm. We bought it about this time last year for a group of amazing women to become a commercial, co-operative model farm.
It is now run by 16 women and 6 men with the supervision of Dupu (seen addressing the elite audience), who himself is the most intelligent and amazing farmer I have met in Malawi. He wants to know and wants to learn all the time.
I am most interested that the Ministry chose our farm, but not surprised as is certainly shows the way forward and is a model for the future. With the group’s help we will bring all we have learned on our other farms here.
The area, here, is Doroba where we put in one of our first pumps in June 2006 and over the years have built up a great relationship with the traditional authority, the Ministry and most importantly the women.
Since the early days we have added maybe 100 pumps, work on training and support of local women on over 20 preschools Adult Education, a nutrition and Health programme and with Women’s Self Help Clusters. We have a programme of supplying open pollinated seeds and another for fruit seedlings. This group are now working on their own fruit tree production, learning how to bud and graft from our guys or while staying in the hostel on our farm in Lusangazi,where we support them with a large variety of special varieties of citrus, apple varieties from Ireland, nine varieties of Mango etc. while cooperating with the National Resources College in Lilongwe.
Even though the 23 acres was bought in May last, the group had repaid 25% of the loan by October, over a year ahead of schedule. They are amazing people and thankfully unaffected by AID. We don’t do aid, we just support them with their plans, mainly in training and inspiration.
I can’t wait to get back there on March 25th.
Now we are on the lookout for a repeat in another area.
Robert our Manager of Farms, who works closely with Dupu and his people, was there and took the pictures. Harisen had to meet CONGOMA, the organisation which regulates NGO’s in Malawi.
I wish I could have a video camera today, It was so interesting field day at Taweni women group, in Doroba, where the ADD staff, DC’s , Chief and Irish Aid choose to hold the field day in the Northern Malawi.
Irish aid said that they found that chemicals fertiliser is the one that makes climate change in African countries. Their aim is to start working with cooperative farmers to start practising Organic and conservation farming in 4 Districts in Malawi. (They must have been reading our mail!)
They found that Griccidia, Tephrosia and pigeon peas are Grade 1 Nitrogen fixing plants, but we know that and more, but they never mentioned the best one Musango.
DUPU’s speech “We as Taweni Group thank Wells for Zoë for donating us with Nitrogen fixing plants Griccidia, Velvet beans, Tephrosia and other plants and seeds that’s why the programme manager from Mzuzu ADD choose our farm to hold this big day, so we proud with Wells for Zoë. The Ministry women (you say she’s the best) also commented on that issue as well.
Pictures on the chart mean Nitrogen fixing plants are the answer to end hunger and poverty in Malawi, but we know that already in Lusangazi.
I am so proud that we are doing all these things on our farms.