The hope of winter
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CTA. 2002. The hope of winter. Spore 101. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47699
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore101.pdf
It has long been common in the dry winter season in rural Malawi to see a person in somewhat shabby gear going down to the riverside with a watering can in hand. Not that this picture of smallholders working in their fruit, vegetable and legume...
It has long been common in the dry winter season in rural Malawi to see a person in somewhat shabby gear going down to the riverside with a watering can in hand. Not that this picture of smallholders working in their fruit, vegetable and legume plots along riversides and in wetlands on cold winter mornings has been in the line of vision of many policy-makers at least not until recently. Without any backing from policy-makers, these winter farmers have forged ahead over the years, knowing that their crop provides an extra source of food and income. Now, at last, it seems that the current critical hunger situation in Malawi has attracted attention to these farmers. Both the government and donor agencies have embarked on numerous projects to support smallholder farmers in their winter cropping initiatives. The reasoning behind the move is that over-dependence on rainfed agriculture has not helped in ensuring food security. In the new projects, the smallholders are leaving aside their watering cans to use treadle pumps which are being provided by the government and donor agencies. This strategy is being implemented as one way of averting the food crisis which is projected to reach alarming levels again before another harvesting season for rainfed agriculture. In one such project, which targets 50,000 farmers in the central district of Salima, FAO is also distributing various farm inputs such as seeds and fertilisers to the farmers. [caption to illustration] And you tell me they did not see it coming?