In late 2007, Wells for Zoë bought about six acres of land, in Lusangazi outside Mzuzu, in response to being unable to find open-pollinated seeds from any seed merchant in Malawi. We went about sourcing seeds, world wide, but have now learned to look more closely at native African plants when we can get them. BUT so brainwashed are the local farmers that they view their own heritage seeds as backward and have often consigned them to history. To be modern, they want hybrids, chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides. Unfortunately this route is promoted by NGO’s, Foreign Governments and a host of blow-ins. In Northern Malawi this is a tough battle.
The research goes on; we keep collecting seeds, learning every inch of the way. By we, I really mean a rag tag bunch of men and women who began with little or no knowledge of horticulture, but have flourished into wonders of creativity in terms of research and demonstration to their fellow Malawians.
The six acres now boasts over 100 different plants, including green manures and plants used for pest control.
We also have three other research farms and in 2015 produced 21,000 certified seedlings which we sow and distribute for planting in other communities. We are changing the cycle little-by-little.