It was a privilege yesterday to visit two farms where irrigation technology is making a real difference. First, we went to Greenfield Tree Nursery where Vincent has established a good business raising fruit trees which he sells throughout Malawi.
Vincent produces orange, tangerine and mango trees and has nearly 40,000 saplings in his nursery. He uses traditional Malawi root stock and then grafts on a range of varieties, suitable for the different conditions found throughout Malawi.
For the last year, Greenfield Nursery has been using two of our Futurepumps for irrigation. One is used with a hose for direct irrigation and the other pumps to a tank which then gravity feeds the nursery. I thought I knew Futurepump well, but I was amazed to see how well it coped with pumping up around 25m from the river to the tank. The pump fills the 5,000litre tank in just three hours which is really impressive.
The next stop was at an irrigated farm near Ekwendeni where we are trialling different varieties of tomatoes. Traditional tomato varieties in Malawi have limited yields and are quite watery, so we have imported seed from South Africa and are running trials. We now know which seeds will work best for our farmers, both in the fields and in the polytunnels, so we can import in quantity and recommend these.
A great day, seeing how irrigation technology and seed technology can help farmers run an efficient business and together we can bring some Good News to the poor.