Malawi's economy is dominated by agriculture and as many as 87% of Malawians depend on agriculture for their income and food supply. The country's prevailing food insecurity (a two-decade problem), is further amplified by a severe shortage of agricultural resources, supplies and technical skill-sets. These challenges are exacerbated by extreme weather shocks.
Gift of the Givers has, accordingly initiated a Hunger Alleviation project in Malawi, through which we deliver farmer packs to rural families who are dependent on agriculture for both food and income. Our farmer packs comprise fertilizers, maize seed, legume seed, vegetable seed and pesticide, providing a long-term food security solution for families who would otherwise be reduced to surviving on less than $1 dollar a day.
Gift of the Givers encourages self-sustainability. Whilst we provide farming inputs, we also assist with the development of, especially, solar powered irrigation systems in order to ensure a growing reduction on the dependency of rain-fed agriculture.
We also host training workshops designed to educate farming families with regard to improved farming methodologies. This initiative has proven hugely beneficial, with increasing numbers of more efficient and cost-effective methods of farming being adopted by families and the sharing of knowledge amongst peers. The ripple effect of this ensures that knowledge and skill-set development is passed down from generation to generation as a means to provide not only food, but an income.
Gift of the Givers works with the country's Departments of Crops and Irrigation, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, with regard to our every agriculture-related activity in the country. Various Government Departments assist in identifying vulnerable farming communities, as well as supporting farmer training and monitoring programmes.
Our team regularly drills boreholes, which are fitted with either hand solar-powered pumps, further reducing reliance on rain for agriculture. Additionally, and in an effort to maximise the lifespan of boreholes, we impart basic maintenance skills to villagers.
In 2020, we reached 4 900 families who are subsequently sustained over a one-year period.