Irrigated Farming

Severe drought greatly hampers the ability of small farmers to develop productive crops. Grants and loans from WHF enable about 100 farmers from three villages to use irrigation equipment powered by both treadle and motorized pumps which move the water from a nearby river through a series of pipes and trenches to each farmer’s plot. Along with hybrid seed, pesticides, and fertilizer, this system has greatly increased the yield of crops like maize, cabbage, and other vegetables, as well as the number of crops per year. Irrigation also removes the risk of failed crops due to lack of rain, a persistent problem in Malawi and the cause of wide-spread famines in the past. The result has been the bounteous production of food for the villages with a sufficient surplus to sell at a nearby market. Women especially have been able to develop businesses to support their families as a result of the project.