We need better ways of farming to survive.Joseph Mwale
Joseph Mwale is exceptionally proud of his farm. Behind his house in Mkhumbwa village, Machinga are a string of small fields, which were previously all dedicated to maize, are now growing many different nutritious crops.
“In the past, it was tough, we grew maize and if there was a drought and the harvest was bad we struggled. Now we have many different foods growing there. Even if one fails the others will be okay. This year we’ve done really well. We have excess grain so we can pay school fees for all the children.”
Joseph and his wife Matrina have four children and thanks to his involvement in the CCPM. He now feels confident he can support them particularly with school and medical fees.
“I’ve received a lot of different training from Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD), in agriculture, techniques like growing vegetables within bamboo, intercropping, using manure instead of chemical fertiliser. The crops grow well and we save money that we would have spent on fertilizer.”
Joseph’s farming success means that he’s been able to purchase equipment to improve his farm including a pedal-powered pump, that brings water from a nearby stream into his field.
“The pump means the droughts and dry spells have less effect and we can keep nurturing the crops.”
He’s now keen to pass on what he’s learned.
“I tell everyone here, use these methods, do as I do. We can see the farming here is getting harder, the rains do not come at the usual times, the dry season is drier. We need better ways of farming to survive.”