Lantmännen contributes to sustainable agriculture in Malawi
In an innovative We Effect project supported by Lantmännen, 15 000 children in Malawi are now receiving school meals produced by local farmers. By educating farmers in sustainable agriculture, We Effect has helped them increase their harvests. The result is a surplus that the farmers sell to UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) and then distributed to nearby schools. The project is part of Lantmännen’s mission to secure food supply and make farming thrive – today and tomorrow. Photo: We Effect
In Malawi, out of a population of 16 million 90 percent are farmers - an occupation that has become increasingly tough in the past years due to climate change. The maize harvest, the country’s vital staple food, has decreased by 30 percent compared to last year, resulting in the Malawian government recently announcing a warning that at least three million people are at risk of facing acute food shortage.
In light of this challenge, We Effect – a Swedish non-governmental organization working with long-term aid projects in 25 countries – has implemented a new school meal program in the country. The project is run with support from Lantmännen, in collaboration with the Malawian government and the United Nation’s World Food Program, WFP.
Lantmännen is a member of and has contributed financially annually to We Effect since 2003, but this year we decided to take our involvement even further by supporting the pilot project in Malawi. Helping to build sustainable agriculture is one of our main goals Anna Carlström, Head of owner relations at Lantmännen.
The farmers included in the project receive training from We Effect and get paid to deliver crops that are served for lunch at ten schools around the country. A total of 15,000 students now receive lunch every day at school, something that is very rare in Malawi. Mercy Kasokoneza, a 26 year old farmer with a three hectares of land outside the town Mangochi, has participated in the project with positive outcome – both for her personally and for the local community.
“Our harvests have increased in the last couple of years and we have afforded to build a new house and buy chickens and goats. Before, we burned or removed the crop residues that remained on the ground after the harvest, which was very time-consuming. Now, we leave on the field which is better for the soil. I can focus more on developing my farming now”, says Mercy Kasokoneza, whose daughter is one of the children that receive school meals every day.
Lantmännen continuously seeks new ways to add value in the entire chain from field to fork – and is therefore proud to contribute to this self-help project allowing farmers to further develop their farming and bring their produce to the market.