For the first year, Malawian farmers in VIP’s partner villages are making significant profits. For those who are unaware of the seasonal split in Malawi, this is an unusual time for harvest. The rainy season ended back in March 2022 and they have not received rain since. However, these farmers are able to grow crops, even during the dry season because of the Solar Irrigation System put into place 3 years ago with the support of the VIP family.
It takes time for people to learn and adapt new strategies. The first year after installation of the Solar Irrigation Systems, all farmers insisted on growing maize because that is their staple food and they wanted to supplement their household needs.
The second year, after VIP offered agribusiness training and exposure to farmers from other areas of the country, who grow cash crops, several of the farmers took a risk and grew tomatoes and watermelons. They made huge profits and their success convinced all the farmers to grow cash crops!
This year, 100% of the farmers grew cash crops such as watermelons, tomatoes and onions. The profits enable them not only to purchase supplemental maize and other household needs but to make asset investments; investing in livestock that will multiply and be sold in the future, purchasing bicycles that will be used for bike taxis and water pumps to use on fields near a stream, these farmers are investing in their futures. The Solar Irrigation Systems that the VIP family helped to fund are creating opportunities for our brothers and sisters in Malawi! Our most recent Friendship Team had the blessing of participating in the harvest and loading the truck to go to market.