Agroforestry is a term and system referring to how land management is configured. Diverse crop combinations are paired with trees, shrubs and livestock to the benefit of all. It has huge benefits to small-hold farmers as it creates diversity on a limited land area.
Currently, our Malawian farmers have an unbalanced and unhealthy state in the soil. Over ploughing, fertilizing and pesticide use has disrupted the natural processes of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes that feed the soil enabling plants to grow and flourish. We hope to remedy this by developing this agroforestry system for training purposes and seed or nursery supplies.
Work has been progressing with increasing biodiversity through planting crops and implementing management systems. Rainwater harvesting techniques have been utilized to catch rainwater and allow it to percolate down into the water table. Seed banks have been started, diverse crop fields designed, living tree fences have been planted, irrigation systems installed. We are constructing all this to function as a training center.
Why are we doing this?
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world despite having a climate that is suitable for growing diverse and plentiful crops. The country is lacking natural resources other than soil and a freshwater lake. The land is being deforested at a very fast pace and many of its people are barely surviving. Malawi needs a long-term strategy to turn the tide with sustainable and affordable processes. Our developing this training facility, with a small forest reserve that offers ample opportunities to create small-scale success stories, can then be multiplied into the local communities and beyond.
Governments around the world now recognize that ecological agroforestry will be one of the core agricultural activities to solve various problems, such as poverty, hunger, climate change, unemployment, migration and food security, in one single project.
How we work
We are partnering with local NGOs and governments to create awareness around the seed initiatives and agroforestry industry. Our “on the ground” approach is to have a functional agroforestry system in place at Mitongwe allowing us to then train in multiple systems, so all can see the possibilities in action. This removes the risk for the farmers, as they are willing to learn and try, but not at the expense of feeding their families. All work will be done by our farm employees at the Mitongwe Woodland Reserve.
How you can help?
Any donation to our agricultural program is an eco-friendly donation, enabling education and training to happen where it impacts the community the most.