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5 local solutions to fight hunger

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By Badre Bahaji, UN World Food Programme

In a landlocked country like Malawi where climate change and recurrent droughts are challenging people’s future, WFP is working to change lives with a lot of imagination. Look at how WFP is trying to build resilience in 5 portraits:

  1. It starts with local solutions 

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2. Home-made compost can turn sand into food

WFP Malawi scaled up stronger resilience-build-ing efforts. Project implementation continued at an increased pace this year, with nearly 724,000 Food For Assets (FFA) participants creating community-owned productive assets.
Communities supported by WFP constructed fish ponds, planted trees and sold vegetables from their backyard gardens. These helped families with a diversified diet, while allowing families to build resilience for future climatic shocks.

Estelle Issa participated in a WFP training to learn how to make her own compost manure to fertilize her land instead of buying fertilizers only.

“I have revitalized an acre of sandy degraded land which was not producing anything. I am now growing cassava and maize”.

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3. Sometimes its about packaging 

Up to 30% of a smallholder farmer harvest in Malawi can be lost after a few months because of lack of knowledge on hermetic bagging and poor storage. Mary Chikopa is the Chairperson of Namangale Farmer Organization which was trained by WFP to address this.

“Now we handle, grade and bag the food properly and we fetch good prices on the market. Since I joined the project, I am earning more money. I sent my daughter to university and built a new house for my family.”

4. Micro-savings can have a BIG impact

Back in 2015, Dorothy and Sani Muhura used to struggle to get enough food for their children year round. Since then, they are participating in Food for Assets activities and are members of a Village and Saving Loans Group (a community micro-credit scheme) and they manage to leap of poverty within a few years.

“With the money we saved and the interest rate, we manage to open this shop which is now a stable income for our family” 

5. Protecting the environment 

WFP Malawi scaled up stronger resilience-build-ing efforts. Project implementation continued at an increased pace this year, with nearly 724,000 Food For Assets (FFA) participants creating community-owned productive assets.
Communities supported by WFP constructed fish ponds, planted trees and sold vegetables from their backyard gardens. These helped families with a diversified diet, while allowing families to build resilience for future climatic shocks.

Protecting the environment with solutions like afforestation and provision of fuel-efficient stoves is also key. Bridget Rodgers got a cooking stove that is consuming half less firewood than her traditional one.

“This means that I am going less often to the bush to collect firewood and I have more time for me and my family”

With the majority of the population dependent on rain-fed, smallholder agriculture, Malawi is highly vulnerable to climatic shocks. In recent years, the country has faced successive climatic shocks, from the worst flood in 50 years in 2015, to the strongest drought in 35 years in 2016.

Tackling climate change and fighting hunger cannot be achieved in isolation. Poverty, gender inequality, limited access to assets and markets are just some factors that WFP is trying to address to contribute to a nation that is food secure and resilient to natural disasters with the objective of breaking the cycle of hunger.

Thanks to the support of Development Partners (the Government of Flanders, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Unites Stated of America), the World Food Programme is working with the Government of Malawi is developing a full package of interventions to break the cycle of hunger in the country

 

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