For Doliyasi Nyirongo of Malawi, getting the chance to practice conservation agriculture was a dream come true.

Conservation agriculture—characterized by minimal soil disturbance, intercropping and the use of natural fertilizers—helps protect crops from dry weather.

Doliyasi first heard about the success of the method on the radio. She never imagined having the opportunity to try it herself.

So when a PWS&D-supported conservation agriculture program did arrive in her village, she was one of the first people to register.

Doing Things Differently

Doliyasi stands proudly by her mulched plot

Doliyasi stands proudly by her mulched plot

As one of the few female farmers participating in the program, Doliyasi already stood out. When she started collecting mounds of decaying mulch to apply to her land—a practice that strayed from traditional farming methods—other women in the village began to mock her.

But Doliyasi was determined that conservation agriculture would work.

Just like Magic

To Doliyasi, the abundance of tall and healthy maize that eventually rose from the soil was “just like magic”— her small conservation agriculture plot boasted almost as much maize as an entire acre of land harvested the traditional way.

Other farmers also began to notice that her crops were less affected by the dry weather. The women who used to tease Doliyasi now approached her with curiosity and kindness. They even shared their interest in registering with the program next year.

Doliyasi felt like a role model. She was happy that she could inspire other women to take a chance with conservation agriculture.

Respond With Us

Conservation agriculture is helping families like Doliyasi’s break free from hunger. Make a donation today to help more farmers across the globe learn sustainable, soil-friendly farming that will improve nutrition and food security for the long-term.

*This project receives support from Canadian Foodgrains Bank. PWS&D is a member of Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. This project was undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada.