In 2017, the lives of farmers living in Kamwena were devastated. Tobacco prices on auction floors plummeted, leaving families without enough income to survive. Kamwena’s group village headman, Symon Phiri, had spent the last decade successfully growing tobacco, but now he needed a new way to feed his family.
In his desperation for survival, Symon made a significant shift. He left the crop he knew best behind and joined the Irrigation Club with Africa Windmill Project. After completing his initial training, Symon planted 5 kilograms of maize seed in his garden. Little did he know that this small amount of seed, combined with good crop management, would change their lives.
By implementing what he learned in irrigation club, Symon’s first maize crop was bountiful, but he wasn’t sure how well the maize would sell at market. To his amazement, Symon’s entire maize crop sold in 3 short days! With the profits from his harvest, Symon was able to purchase more fertilizer, a cow, and repair an old motorcycle. He STILL had money leftover, and for the first time, Symon had money to save!
Armyworm Outbreak Threatens Crop
During the fall, an armyworm outbreak posed a serious threat to crops across Kamwena. Unlike many other farmers who unfortunately lost their crops, Symon was able to stop the armyworms away from his fields. With the money saved from his first harvest, he purchased pesticides to protect his maize from the advancing armyworms.
Symon’s second harvest produced 31 ox-carts full of maize! Needless to say, Symon was “sold” on the benefits of growing food with the irrigation methods he learned through Africa Windmill Project.