When millions of your fellow countrymen and women are going hungry, how do you survive? Farmer Gift Kambuku knows the answer, and he’s willing to share it with those who’ll listen...
Gift lives in Malawi, where 2.8 million people are facing severe hunger due to the effect of drought and the El Niño weather phenomenon. Three years ago, he enrolled in a training scheme run by Tearfund’s partner helping people produce food in a changing climate.
During this training, Gift learnt conservation farming (also known as Farming God’s Way), a way of enabling people to maximise crop yields by using techniques that make the best of challenging growing conditions. For example, people are introduced to the concept of mulching to keep the soil as moist as possible.
During harvest last year, Gift collected material for his mulch. This was much to the amusement of his neighbours, who were used to more traditional farming methods – methods that are failing to adapt to the shifting climate.
The rains didn’t come on time, but Gift was able to plant two months earlier than his neighbours due to the mulching. While everybody else waited for the normal rains for planting, Gift’s maize was already thriving.
Since learning about conservation farming, Gift has expanded the amount of land he can cultivate, so he can now produce enough to feed his wife Loreen and their four children.
Gift’s success has not only surprised his neighbours, it’s prompted them to take his methods seriously and start investigating for themselves. Gift is happy to share his knowledge with others, working with our partner to teach about conservation farming across three districts.
‘Weather forecasters predict there will be erratic rains this year, which means Malawi will experience another year of hunger,’ says Vincent Moyo, Tearfund’s Country Representative for Malawi. ‘This is a wake-up call. Conservation farming offers the best way forward to adapt to the changing climate.’
- Pray for Gift, as he does all he can to provide for his family, as well as share his knowledge and skills with those around him.
- Thank God and pray for our partners in Malawi, as they empower communities to thrive in the face of a changing climate.
- Pray for the country of Malawi as it braces for food shortages: that the rains will be better than expected, and the impact less than feared.