Venasio and Fadima standing beside their compost bin

Venasio and Fadima standing beside their compost bin Photo: Rachel Bezner Kerr

“As you can see, I look healthy,” shares Venasio Chinga, a farmer from Malawi.

Venasio’s plot of land, once withered and lifeless, hosts an abundance of yellow maize. Despite periods of dry weather, he is getting enough to eat and is meeting the nutritional needs of his growing family.

Venasio and his wife Fadima learned the proper way to make and use manure to increase their yields through the PWS&D-supported Malawi Farmer-to-Farmer Agroecology project (MAFFA). The couple, along with 6,000 other farm families in Malawi, are transforming their plots of land, overcoming hunger and improving their lives with the support of the program.

Annie in her pigeonpea field

Annie in her pigeonpea field Photo: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Annie Nguluve receives training from MAFFA. Since learning more about the advantages of intercropping and how to protect her crops from dry weather, Annie’s fields have sprung to life. “I’ve seen several benefits apart from the food I’ve fed to the children,” shares Annie. “I’ve seen that I get more yields by adding other crops. It has increased my food.”


Forbes in his pigeonpea field

Forbes in his pigeonpea field Photo: Rachel Bezner Kerr

Forbes Moyo—who has been with the program for two years—has also improved his soil fertility by diversifying his crops. He is optimistic about trying to grow a variety of nutritious food—such as orange maize—in the future. “When I heard about pigeon pea and how it improves soil fertility, I was so enthusiastic to find out if it works,” shares Forbes. Forbes’s abundant yields will help him improve his nutrition and, ultimately, his livelihood.

Together, Farming for the Future

Venasio, Fadima, Annie and Forbes are just a few of the many farmers worldwide who, despite their hard work, face many challenges growing enough food for their families. But with the training they are receiving, they are building resilience to these challenges and are empowered to improve their lives.

Now, Venasio, Fadima, Annie and Forbes are growing more food, cultivating fertile soil and improving their nutrition. And they are learning it all from the women and men growing food for today and for the future—their fellow farmers.

*The MAFFA project is supported by the Government of Canada, through Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, and operated in partnership with Western University and Canadian Foodgrains Bank.