Lucia Siyame and Utilising Organic Fertiliser to Increase Productivity

Lucia Siyame lives in Denthema, Nkhata Bay North with her husband and their 4 children. She supports her family with small-scale farming but has recently been struggling to increase the scale of her production, due to costs and a lack of fertiliser, seeds and pesticides.

Around 90% of households in Nkhata Bay North are smallholder subsistence farmers, with 58% of the population living on just over 50p a day. This extreme poverty means that most families suffer from income and food insecurity. In the wider district, over a quarter of forest cover has been lost in the last 20 years alone, which has led to soil erosion, dried up water sources, and lower agricultural productivity. Different livestock groups were set up by villages to combat income and food insecurity in the area. 

Since Lucia has joined a pig livestock group in Denthema, she discovered Temwa through a meeting held by the village head. The villagers were informed of a new project happening, Farming Futures, which focuses on building communities’ climate resilience through sustainable farming, forest-friendly livelihoods, and sustainable use of local natural resources.

The project has enabled Lucia to increase her production by using manure from the Khola (Cattle Pen) to fertilise her maize and bean crops. This has resulted in her increasing her crop production so she is able to sell a larger quantity of maize, increasing her income and helping her to better support her family.

Lucia hopes this increase will help her to pay her children’s school fees and maintain her house. There are others within the village who have been supported by the programme. 

“There has been increased crop productivity in most of the community members due to manure production.”

Rapid deforestation, coupled with the impacts of climate change (including increased droughts, flooding, strong winds, and erratic rainfall), is making it difficult for farmers like Lucia to make a living supporting their families – find out more about the Farming Futures Project here.

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