Irrigation Season

Irrigation season in Malawi runs approximately from April through November. With the labour competition from rain-fed gardens, most farmers wind up irrigation activities in October, leaving November the remaining weeks in the dry season for weeding and ridging.

I think it's appropriate then to highlight some of the remarkable achievements of irrigation farmers in Mziza and Chibanzi. For today, let's take a look at Irrigation Club Chairman Jafeti.

The Semi-commercial Opperator

Jafeti has taken the idea of small, sustainable irrigation and run it out to its maximum potential. He's now irrigating half an acre himself, while his wife and family take care of another quarter acre. He's an innovator, too. When the maximum potential for his plot doesn't meet his goals, he simply increases the maximum potential somehow, by creating multiple pumping locations for example. Apparently he doesn't understand the meaning of maximum... Or the difference between potential and actual, for that matter.

He has gone beyond the label subsistence farmer, to semi-commercial grower. Why put the qualifier "semi-" in there? Because he doesn't grow for commercial markets exclusively. He provides food for himself, his family and extended family, and his village. He earns money to send his kids to school, maintain his house, and provide for emergencies.

Jafeti is a very good farmer and we hope he can become a very good farming teacher in his community. We are thankful to have worked with him.