CHRISTIAN AID In this season of Harvest, we celebrate and praise God for providing all we need to eat, we also stand with our sisters and brothers facing the challenges of climatic changes whose harvests are uncertain.
We stand with Frank, a farmer in Malawi, who was taught a planting calendar by his grandfather based on the regular seasons, but the ever-changing climate means he can’t depend on this knowledge any longer. He used to be able to rely on growing maize to feed his family, but often his crop fails when the rains don’t come as expected.
This has a devastating impact on Frank and his family, the recent drought ruined another harvest, and Frank’s four-year-old son became so critically ill and he had to carry him on foot for four miles to the hospital. Frank was told his son was severely malnourished, and told us he felt helpless that he could not provide for his children.
Christian Aid’s partner, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, has been helping Frank and his family to thrive in such hostile climatic conditions. Frank has successfully grown a special variety of pigeon peas. This remarkable crop is high in protein and its deep roots are ideal for southern Malawi’s dry soil, as it can resist long periods of drought and the destructive flash flooding which is on the rise in the country.
Despite Franks efforts and the success of his harvest, he wasn’t able to make a profit. Many farmers like Frank work individually and rely on each harvest for sustenance. This means they have no choice but to sell their harvests to middlemen who often drive prices down to the lowest level.
With your support, this project will bring farmers together into Farmers’ Clubs, where they will learn vital business skills and work together to plan their planting to ensure a good balance of crops. They’ll learn marketing techniques and new methods for production and storage of pigeon peas, and they will be trained in negotiating fair prices for their crops.
For Frank, this could mean he is able to make a profit – enough to feed his family and even send his four children to school. In the Bible, Jesus tells us that he came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.
Through giving, acting, and praying this harvest, you will help Christian Aid to support Frank and farmers like him not just to survive, but to thrive.