This picture, from our irrigation project at Tapukwa, sums up what we have been doing in Malawi for these last few months.  Technology like irrigation needs to combine with good quality farmer training to bring the results we want to see. In our staff training today we were talking about how we can encourage farmers to use their brains as much as their physical strength to farm in smart ways. A notebook and pen is as much a tool of the trade as a hand hoe.

Mustard leaves growing in a sack – seedlings are planted through the holes and leaves are harvested twice a week for cooking with the family meal

On to our Agri Service Centre at Rumphi, where our staff are experimenting with growing vegetables in sacks – a simple, smart solution which can work even in the cities where houses are close together and garden ground is scarce.  Put the sack in a greenhouse for even better results….

MFT staff building model greenhouses from plastic straws and greaseproof paper

Today’s training was full of fun, laughter and some great insights. We finished working on our Mission Statement and Values; learned about monitoring projects and report writing; and built some greenhouses! Our staff team are excited about the Greenhouse Project and all that it will achieve for vulnerable women in Mzuzu.

Our Mission Statement, agreed today:

We empower small-scale farmers to increase their household income through modern farming technology, high quality training and access to markets.