Even from afar, one can see for himself that Sustainable Food Systems for Rural Agriculture Transformation and Resilience (TANSFORM) Project is improving living standards among communities in Mzimba district.
The project is empowering both men and women to venture into commercial and subsistence farming and as a result, bumper harvests are realized.
We are tracking a story of Annily Kasalu from Mayeleyele village in the area of Traditional Authority Mzikubola in the district who says she is now breathing a sigh of relief from the micro-drip irrigation farming.
She is able to improve her household standards. “I follow instructions from implementer of the program, Catholic Development Commission in Malawi (CADECOM),” she said in an interview with journalists who toured an area where she is implementing this.
Kasalu grew tomatoes in 2022 and she is now a millionaire after selling them.
She says, “I sold the tomatoes at K40 thousand per basin which was the highest price at that time while the lowest price was 20 thousand per basin. I in total got K1.5 million.”
“I noted that it was possible for me to implement micro-drip irrigation at my farm as some people were doing in their clubs. So, I approached CADECOM field officer responsible for the clubs to give me tips on how I can do such type of irrigation at my home.”
“He then highlighted all what was needed for the Irrigation to be possible then I followed,” she explained.
Kasalu has also told us that the program provided her readily available market for her products hence it was not hectic to find one.
She signed an agreement with the Mzuzu based Kukwithu kitchen Caretaker which entered into a Memorandum of understanding with NCA/DCA Malawi to be buying cultural crops to farmers in the TANSFORM program.
“I signed an agreement with Kukwithu kitchen to be buying tomatoes from farmers to produce tomato sauce. It gave me a variety of tomatoes suitable for their products,” she narrated.
But how has her life changed with the impact realized from the tomato farming? She says there is no more headache for basic of her 8-member family There is no more headache for school fees for her 2 children and one of whom happens to be at Mzuzu University.
She however needs help as access to water for irrigating her tomatoes is being characterized by a long distance. She says there is a 200-meter gap between the water source and farm hence there is a need for help from well-wishers.
The TRANSFORM program is being coordinated by NCA/DCA Malawi with support from the Royal Norwegian Embassy.