Tullamore Lions Support Malawi Farmers

February 26, 2021

In late 2019, Tullamore Lions Club agreed to collaborate with Self Help Africa by funding an agricultural project in Malawi over the following four years at a cost of €22,000. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The Karonga district, in Northern Malawi, is a rural area that is heavily reliant on the crops it produces. The people need to increase agricultural productivity and diversify crop production at a time when climate change is already impacting their lives.

Tullamore Lions were persuaded to fund this project knowing that local man, Ronan Scully, who is Self Help Africa’s fundraising coordinator will make sure that every cent provided will be spent on delivering the project. The overall aim of the project is to enable the farmers who take part to earn more from their small farms.

Over 24,000 people – 60% of whom are women – will benefit. The project is providing training in new farming techniques, introducing new crop varieties and supporting households to cope with and adapt to a changing climate in a region that has experienced extreme flooding and drought in recent times.

Progress during the first year is very encouraging. Using a technique known as ‘Farmer Field School Groups’, farmers are meeting in groups to learn about a variety of agricultural techniques. They are experimenting by growing crops to discover which grow best on their land. They will then grow these crops on the field school plots and on their own land. They are experiencing small irrigation technologies, ‘climate smart’ agricultural practices and pest and disease management.