Presbyterian World Service and Development is supporting Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) with a three-year agriculture and livelihood project in Balaka District, Malawi.
Balaka faces perpetual food insecurity due to declining crop productivity and limited income for food. Reduced food production is exacerbated by prolonged dry spells and declining soil fertility. As well, women’s limited power in decision making, ownership and control over productive assets decreases food production as women are the main farmers and require access to these resources to be successful.
Main causes of limited income relate to the lack of market information, limited extension services, and inadequate capacity for farmers to be organized for bigger markets.
In response, this project will work with farmers and their households to improve skills in conservation agriculture (CA). CA is a low-cost technology that works to improve soil fertility sustainably. Integration of improved seed varieties will also help increase crop potential.
Additionally, the project will enhance the capacity of farmers to improve value-added agriculture activities, including better storage, package and labeling techniques, as well as create market linkages and farmer associations so that crops have a better potential to be sold in markets. Raising awareness about the challenges women face in farming will also be key in this project and will be discussed in gender trainings among male and female participants.
The project aims to reach 3,392 people (750 households) with activities over three years.