Russian Roulette with the Seasons

In Malawi as in much of sub-Saharan Africa, the weather plays a constant game of Russian Roulette with agriculture and horticulture. Dry seasons sometimes linger and dessicate everything; rains can arrive with such ferocity, the crops get washed out. Like the secret of comedy, timing is everything, but it's no joke when lives are at stake as they often are in such a finely balanced cycle.

There's a feeling among the women on some of our projects that global warming or climate change has brought more randomness and changeability than before, but really, who knows? Irish weather changes at a whim: two years ago a couple of bitter, snowy winters. This year, a summer that lasted into October. However we don't have so much on the line.

Usually the Malawian Seasons pan out like this:

DRY SEASON: April to October - we generally grow VEGETABLES in our gardens

MAIN PLANTING SEASON: September to January - for Cassava ,Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato

GREEN HARVEST: Feb to April  - for Maize, Nuts, Soya

HUNGRY SEASON: November to April - WAITING FOR MAIZE

Unfortunately, it's all too often that it's the Hungry Season that dominates. By introducing better methods and more robust strains of crops, at the Tuesday Trust, we're trying to take the variability out of it, bring more certainty and control. Stop families waiting hungry. It's where your help is vital.
 

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