We Effect in Malawi
In Malawi, We Effect has been working with several farmers’ organizations to create a consortium that is responsible for the countrywide programme, Malawi Lake Basin Programme. The programme develops the capacities of cooperatives and other farmer organizations as democratic institutions with an important role to play in the development of their communities. Through their active involvement in the fight against poverty and injustice, the cooperatives/organizations are playing a meaningful role in the development of the civil society.
The Malawi Lake Basin Programme focus on the following pillars:
Organization and Business Development. This component involves organizational, business development and governance with a major focus on organizational leadership and provision of efficient services to the members such as agricultural input, produce marketing systems and rural financial services.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Adaptation to Climate Change. The programme address community management and sustainable utilization of the natural resource base including forestry and fisheries.
Institutional Development concentrates on the strengthening of the three national organizations addressing selected issues of their strategic development plans in order to increase their operational as well as lobbying and advocacy capacity.
Through MLBP We Effect works with the development cooperation organisation Vi Agroforestry, which contributes valuable knowledge about how trees can be planted alongside crops, norms, rules and governance to create an enabling business environment for small producers.
The local partner organisations in MLBP are Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO), and National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM).
National initiatives in Malawi
In Malawi We Effect also work through the Home Grown School Feeding Programme and the Orange Fresh Sweet Potato Project.
Regional initiatives in Malawi
The rural development programme aims to enable small-scale farmers to address their needs and rights through the empowerment of their farmer’s organisations. The focus area of the programme is to promote rural development focusing on sustainable agriculture, food security and local business development.
The lack of good, safe housing is a considerable problem in big cities. Our housing programme helps people in slum areas to set up cooperatives and build homes together. We Effect supports housing cooperatives that work to promote everyone’s right to housing.
The existing inequalities between women and men in Southern Africa results in significant differences in livelihood opportunities and outcomes. An equal society, in which women and men have an equal say, is fundamental to all our areas of work. Through our gender programme, We Effect works with gender equality through all our partners.
Our regional study circle centre, based in Lusaka, provides farmers with access to new knowledge, which enables them to boost their harvests, learn organic farming techniques, find new markets and develop new sources of income.
The spread of HIV is partly an effect of poverty. At the same time it aggravates poverty – both for the ones that are affected and the society as a whole. It is for this reason that sensitization initiatives to prevent the spread of HIV and reduce the stigma attached to the disease are part of everything we do.
Our country office in Malawi is located in Lilongwe. We also have offices in Tembwe, Khombedza, Nansenga and Mbwadzulu.
Increasing agriculture productivity through windmills
The windmill has been put up at Mpale in Mangochi.
Malawi Lake Basin Programme is piloting the promotion of windmills in order to maximize agricultural productivity through irrigation. Using locally available materials and labour, the windmill has been put up at Mpale in Mangochi, one of the highly potential agriculture productive areas. With additional energy, farmers could power pumps for water supplies and irrigation and thus decrease the risks associated with rain-fed systems, increase crop and pasture productivity, and possibly switch to higher-value crops.
Facts about Malawi
Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Two thirds of the population are under the age of 20. The country is entirely dependent upon its agriculture, with more than 80 percent of the population living in rural areas and earning a living from farming. Malawi has limited access to natural resources, which is why the country is highly dependent on raw materials.
Unlike many other countries in the region, almost all arable land is used, which has led to land depletion and smaller harvests. The country has suffered greatly as a result of major flooding and extreme drought; phenomena that affect the agricultural sector in particular. Agriculture accounts for a third of GDP. Malawi’s most important export commodity is tobacco. The fishing industry is also important for the country. There is not much industry and it is concentrated in the southern parts of the country. Malawi has been severely affected by the HIV epidemic. Combined with malnutrition, this has led to an increase in the death rate.
Despite the fact that by law, women and men have equal working conditions, the situation in reality is a different matter. Women have the lion’s share of the responsibility for the home and family. Many women are subjected to violence. Women are poorly represented in the formal sector.