BIRIWIRA - Greenbelt Initiative
Let the rains fail, even for several successive seasons, and Malawi should still be able to produce enough to feed itself.
This is the motivation for the country’s green belt concept. It is strengthened by painful memories of the severe drought beginning early 2002 which triggered three years of hunger. By 2005, five million people were affected by famine, all while large quantities of water flowed out of the country to the oceans of the world.
Local agriculture experts explain that two districts in the southern tip of the country could feed the entire country all year round if the Shire River, which cuts through the length of this southern plain, was utilised for intensive irrigation farming.
Yet, the two districts, often troubled by floods, are among the most desperately poor in Malawi, and their inhabitants survive on food handouts from government and donors.
The programme seeks to make Malawi independent of rain-fed agriculture. For all the much-publicised success of subsidies for small-scale farmers over the past four years, Malawi must also thank good rains for the increased production.
The plan is to protect the gains in food security, reduce vulnerability to drought and to boost production still further by irrigating a million hectares of land in a swathe lying within 20 kilometres of the country’s three lakes and 13 perennial rivers.
And we at BlueZone support this initiative through our Biriwira promotions that you will find on our site from time to time. Wherever you see this sign:
on our products, you will receive a huge discount.