Creating a productive farm, creating healthy outcomes for the local diets and soil depends on a variety of factors. After the initial task of composting to begin soil enhancement, the need for strong seeds, and the chance to sow a variety of crops is crucial. Our goal is to provide a healthy seed stack and plants in a safe environment where the farmers are not put at risk. We offer any training necessary, plus the opportunity to experience the process and vision through our fields.
The Mitongwe Seedbank project was started in 2020 during the onset of the pandemic. The collection of seeds was initiated and the growing of other necessary plants was contracted out to some private nurseries. A solar irrigation system was purchased and installed on a four-hectare parcel. The first fields were prepared, then seeds and plants were treated and planted in March 2021, and the necessary staff have been trained. Multiplication of seeds has started.
Why are we doing this?
The seeds that most poor rural farmers use are often genetically weakened, have poor yields along with being susceptible to disease. There are multiple factors that affect this including an unbalanced state in the soil due to over ploughing, fertilizers and pesticides. The natural processes of bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes that feed the soil and allow plants to grow, flourish and produce strong seed health have been disrupted. The result is poor crop yields, soil erosion, and the continued need for fertilizers and herbicides. What is needed is multiple seed varieties planted to improve the soil health and restore the balance. For farmers to participate in this it is imperative that we also develop markets for their crops as they are restoring their soil to health. So we are excited about the seed bank, where we will propagate all of the different seeds that will be necessary for the rural Malawian farmers to benefit.
How we work
We are partnering with local NGOs and governments to create awareness around the seed initiatives and agro-forestry industry. Our farm enables our team to run experimental fields, where we and the local farmers learn about the different interactions of plant systems and their impacts, another safe place for farmers to learn what can improve their crop variety and yield.
How you can help?
Gift of Seeds
Seeds are small things that make a big difference! A gift of quality seeds, no matter the variety, will serve a family long past the original harvest. Seeds provide nutritious crops and give families a chance to sell the surplus to earn additional income for other needs such as school fees or medical care.