Archive for ‘food’


A deep dive into Africa’s Agriculture

June 20th, 2019

There is so much to take out of this special report on Agriculture in Africa just published by Oxford Business Group, which sets out the challenges and the opportunities facing farmers across the continent.

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“While Africa holds more than 60% of the world’s arable land, the continent’s share in global agricultural production remains low. Vast areas of land are uncultivated and productivity is lower than in much of the rest of the world. Nevertheless, farming is key for the majority of African economies and accounts for at least 15% of the region’s GDP. In addition, around two-thirds of the African population is employed within the sector, the vast majority working on small-scale farms that currently produce around 90% of all output.”

“If the sector’s most notable challenges can be overcome, agriculture could play an even larger part in transforming economies. In particular, governments across the continent are working with international organisations to find solutions to the rising effects of climate change. Nevertheless, the overall is quite bright: cultivated areas are expected to expand and farmers are set to increase their use of inputs, such as fertilisers, improved seeds, irrigation systems and mechanisation.”

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Find the full OBG report here.

Hunger Stunts Learning

September 26th, 2018

The impact of hunger on education systems is gravely underreported. Being severely malnourished, to the point it impacts on brain development, can be the same as losing four grades of schooling. Around 171 million children in developing countries are stunted by hunger by the time they reach age 5. Stunting can affect a child’s cognitive abilities as well as their focus and concentration in school. As a result, stunted children are 19% less likely to be able to read by age eight. Conversely, good nutrition can be crucial preparation for good learning.

Our Schools Growing initiative teaches children about how to grow their own food and supports and encourages them growing vegetable gardens at their schools. TT’s project support assistant, Aubrey with a school groupPreparing lunch at school

Patient Support Group Gardening

March 16th, 2018

The overall situation in Malawi is challenging to say the least. Inflation is being driven by a collapsing currency that has fallen in value by 80% in a decade. So every win is amplified.

Our Patient Support Group Garden at Ndi Moyo Palliative Care Trust is flourishing, with a bumper cassava crop right now. We supply their seeds and tools, and have given them 16 weeks of training, with practical growing skills that they can also use at their homes to help feed themselves. We also give them breakfast every Friday. Of course, the Group are all terribly ill, with many suffering from cervical cancer and all are HIV+. The Garden benefits at a community and nutritional. Small steps, big returns at a people level.Patient Support Group, Ndi Moyo

Lynn and ALK off to Malawi

September 9th, 2017

Lynn and ALK to Malawi
We caught up with Lynn Clifford and Anne-Louise Kelly on their back to Malawi. Item 1 on the agenda there is to roll out a new growing season of the nutrition and conservation project we run with WAG. We’re adding 5 new schools to the existing 5 to bring the total number of children being reached to approx. 10,000.

Schools Growing Competition is a Winner

June 23rd, 2017

Our new schools food growing initiative with WAG seems to working well, though it is early days. Aubrey, who is running it day to day, is putting amazing energy and dedication into the programmes at 5 schools close to Thuma. Over 4000 children attend these.

It’s run as a competition between the schools to create a bit a fun as well encouraging everyone to participate. The pupils get vital skills in growing, tending and harvesting as well as feeding themselves. Education is key to breaking out of poverty, but it’s impossible to learn if you’re hungry. Thanks to Lynn, Aubry and WAG for their enthusiasm and commitment on the ground. There’s more detail here.

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Aubrey and pupils TT schools project

School Brown Nut harvest

Beekeeping Trial

June 14th, 2016

Our great friend and agri-expert, Tony Finch is always extolling the virtues of beekeeping as part of a food sustenance mix in Malawi. We have looked at it before as a possibility, but it didn’t happen. Now we’re delighted to support Aubrey, WAG ranger & key TT supporter at a beekeeping course here at Kusamala Institute of Agriculture and Ecology with a view to trialing a beekeeping project.

Kusamala