End Banda and Hope For Subsistence Farming

End Banda is a subsistence farmer living in Jembe with his wife and 3 children. He grows tomatoes, maize and Irish potatoes, as well as mangoes, guavas and avocados. However, he shared that there are always difficulties in food and farming such as being able to source fertilisers or manures.

The farming communities in Nkhata Bay North are extremely vulnerable to the worst impacts of the climate crisis. Crop yields last year were drastically lower due to heavy rains and strong winds, made worse by a lack of forest cover due to prolific deforestation. Farmers like End continue to resort to unsustainable practices, including cutting down trees to sell or to clear land for crops. 

This year in Malawi, the El Niño impact is hitting after a prolonged period of unmet needs for communities, with alarming levels of food insecurity for families like Ends’. Malawi is estimated to have 4.4 million people or 22% of the population facing crisis levels of food shortages and worse between October 2023 and March 2024. The World Bank estimates that about 72 per cent of Malawians will face poverty this year following the weather shocks as inflation is expected to average 27 per cent. This presents a difficult challenge for subsistence farmers, especially in rural areas like Jembe. 

Before Temwa started working in Jembe, End did not know how to properly make fertiliser from manures (Mbeba). Yet, under Farming Futures, he has learnt how to sustainably make Mbeba for his land, replenishing the soil in the area and increasing his crop yields. He has also joined a beekeeping group as part of our new Strengthening Resilience For Vulnerable Households (SRVH) Project, strengthening livelihoods and increasing income generation. 

Most importantly, he is hopeful for the future, as he would like to grow on a larger scale and invest in more fruit trees, providing further food security for himself and his family. 

“My life and community at large would change with the support of fruit trees as well, as I see how the few I have benefited my family.”

The Farming Futures project uses an awareness campaign, including events and radio programmes, to improve community understanding of the negative impacts of deforestation and sustainable livelihood alternatives. This campaign demonstrates the success of sustainable businesses to community members, inspiring other farmers to form groups and adopt climate-adaptive livelihoods.

Read more about the project in our latest report here.

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