Farmers in Malawi were having a rough time with the harvest even before Cyclone Idai.
The 2017-2018 growing season had been disappointing and then their crops were flooded by an earlier cyclone. When the big one, Cyclone Idai came along, it actually looped through Malawi twice in March 2019. Close to 1 million people were impacted, and tens of thousands were forced to flee their homes.
These disasters have interrupted livelihood activities, damaged infrastructures, washed away household assets including farmland and food, and severely limited market operations and access. Many households struggle to meet their basic needs, including food.
In response, the Humanitarian Coalition, through Canadian Foodgrains Bank member Presbyterian World Service and Development, is providing food baskets to vulnerable families, and seeds to farmers so they can eventually feed their families and restore their livelihoods.
Lucy is the leader of a group of farmers who have all received seeds through the project. They have planted a communal garden on Lucy’s land. Lucy’s job is to demonstrate good farming practices and show other farmers what they can do when they plant seeds on their own land.
The solar kit received through the project pumps water from the nearby river onto the land, so the women no longer need to fetch the water and carry it on their heads.
This group of farmers is confident that the next harvest will be a good one.