New Ways of Farming

Farmers in Malawi sometimes fall into a narrow view of what farming is. The typical view of farming might be something like: "dig, sow, weed, harvest".

That's a nice start but we re trying to encourage farmers to see a wide variety of activities as fitting into their farming practices. There's composting, budgeting and planing, marketing, seed storage, irrigation, pest control, among others. While farmers with the more basic understanding of farming still practice these other farm activities, the farmers don't consider them essential and tend to make them last-minute afterthoughts.

With some training we are encouraging farmers to see a big picture of what they do on their farms. Farmers are beginning to see the connections between their rain-fed crops and their irrigated gardens. They have taken an interest in seed selection and storage. And they have emphatically adopted composting and mulching.

One farmer leads the way by preparing compost far in advance:

Other farmers learn how to compact soil in preparation for a water tank: