With up to 85% of the population dependent on agriculture for food and livelihoods, many farming communities in Malawi are struggling to cope with the added impact of climate change.
Self Help Africa is working on a combination of directly implemented and partner-led projects in Malawi. The programme goal, to support smallholder farming communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods, is in line with the government’s current Growth and Development Strategy II.
The largest single project is DISCOVER, a five-year collaborative venture with a number of international partners that is seeking to support households to adapt to climate change.
Full Name: Republic of Malawi
Population: 19.16 million (World Bank, 2018)
Population Growth (Yearly): 2.91%
Area: 118,484 SQ KM (45,747 SQ Miles)
Major Languages: English (Official), Chichewa, Numerous indigenous languages
Major Religions: Christianity, Islam, Traditional Beliefs
SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS IMPROVEMENT AND RESILIENCE PROJECT
SLIP is promoting improved livelihood security through diversified crop and livestock
production; improved resilience through natural resource management; increased incomes
and diversified livelihoods options through community-based rural enterprises.
Self Help Africa aims to establish profitable and sustainable community-based rural
enterprises with developed market access skills and access to financial services. It is also vital
to strengthen the capacity of beneficiaries to effectively implement and manage their
livelihood activities. This project is contributing to an increase in household incomes.
SHIRE BASIN SUSTAINABLE NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT SOCIAL ENHANCEMENT PROJECT
Self Help Africa plans to improve power generation by reducing erosion and sedimentation.
In order to achieve this, the project is focusing on improving local management of natural
resources; improving community participation in decision-making; promoting conservation
agriculture, and integrated soil fertility management and agro-forestry practices. It will also
address the social and gender inequalities in sustainable agriculture. The intervention will
focus on engaging communities to promote joint decision making at both community and
household levels. This will be delivered through the provision of literacy training in order to
allow farmers to engage in value addition and marketing.
DEVELOPING REMOTE SENDING TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR FALL ARMYWORM
This project is being delivered by a collaboration between: SHA, University College Dublin,
and Orbas with the support of the relevant local government district authorities to combat the
increasing prevalence of Fall Armyworm in Malawi. The aim of the collaboration is to create
a model to detect and monitor Fall Armyworm (FAW) outbreaks and severity. This model
will then be developed into a software tool to help public institutions, NGOs and commercial
farmers to maximize the benefits of insecticide, manage yield losses, and adapt to climate
Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Kasungu, Salima, Mulanje, Chiradzulu
and Thyolo Districts.
SHA are undertaking a number of activities to build capacity among smallholder farmers to
increase production and efficiency including: Supporting farmer field school groups to
promote sustainable agricultural practices; Promoting the adoption of legume and small-scale
vegetable production; integrating nutrition training and appropriate small-scale irrigation
technologies; and training of smallholder farmers on diversification of crops.
To combat a serious lack of knowledge among farmers, we are also adopting new
technologies to make farming more efficient. For this, we are conducting farmer-led research
to document and share best practices, training farmers in data collection and record
management, linking farmer groups to mobile-phone based information services on
sustainable agricultural methodologies, and developing Community Early Warning Systems
(EWS) in flood and drought-prone areas.