25 year old Lennart and Patuma Kamwesa (22) smile when they think about the origins of the ‘chilli club’ that they are members of in Kalimwi village in Balaka, Malawi.
“Villagers in the area were troubled by elephants, who kept coming in to our gardens and eating and trampling on crops,” Lennart recounts. “We built a fence out of chilli to keep them out, and it worked. Elephants are afraid to cross it.”
“We then went out to sell the chillies in the market, and found that we could earn more from them, than we were being paid for our vegetables. We sat down together, took part in some training activities, and formed a group that produces and sells chillies. ”
Lennart and Patuma grew chilli on a quarter-acre of land on their farm last year. It was so successful that they have planted two acres with chilli, this year.