Enhancing climate resilience in Balaka

Long-term Response
Malawi Long-Term Response Project
Implementing Partner: Churches Action in Relief and Development
Lead Member: Presbyterian World Service & Development
People Served: 1,200
Budget: $200,310
Timeline: December 2023 – November 2026

Presbyterian World Service & Development is supporting Churches Action in Relief and Development (CARD) with a second phase, three-year agriculture and livelihoods project in the Utale Extension Planning Area of Balaka District, Malawi.

The initial three-year project worked in the same area and with the many of the same farmers. Whilst some improvements in participants food security was achieved, a second phase is warranted to consolidate learnings and adoption of new techniques. Additional outcomes were added to this new phase. The area is grappling with high levels of food insecurity primarily due to low agricultural productivity, climate change, and inadequate adaptation capabilities. Heavy soil depletion resulting from poor catchment management, deforestation due to widespread charcoal burning, economic challenges and limited access to agricultural inputs further contribute to the region’s vulnerability. Recent cyclones, such as Freddy in 2023 and Anna in 2022, have intensified food insecurity by causing significant losses in agricultural production.

The project will enhance the capacity of farmers in Conservation Agriculture within the broader framework of agroecology, emphasizing diversity and synergy. It will promote diversity in crops, livestock, trees, and activities, with a focus on cereal (maize, millet/sorghum), legumes (pigeon peas and cowpeas), and vegetable production under rainfed and small-scale irrigation to enhance their resilience against drought. The project will also diversify agriculture for 900 households through a goat pass-on scheme which will provide a sustainable source of income, food as well as organic fertilizer. The project will work with 1,200 unique individuals.

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