Mary’s Mango Tree

Self Help AfricaAgriculture & Nutrition, Enterprise Development, featured, Gender, News, West Africa

Mary Banda and her daughter Sophia

Mary Banda lives in a village close to Karonga in Northern Malawi. For Mary, the 30-year-old mango tree that stands in front of her tin-roof home is a tree of life.

“Every year, It provides me with food and it provides me with money,” she says. “My father was wise when he planted it.  He told us when we were small to take care of it, and we would be grateful.”

Now standing close to 40ft tall, the tree gives Mary an abundance of fruit.  She estimates that her harvests up to 30 baskets, each season, and uses some for her own family, and for her near neighbours.

But most of the crop is taken into town by Mary, where she sells it to local people, every weekend.  Sometimes, traders come out from the town to buy mango from her, she says.

Mary estimates that sales of fruit from her tree earns Mary close to €250, a year. That’s half her total income.