Andrew’s insights into agriculture in Malawi.



Malawi experiences different kinds of weather in different places and this always affects the crops grown in those areas. That is why in some other places they don’t grow the crops that others grow in their areas. That is the reason why in some places, especially in the north, we can have water reservoirs but irrigation farming becomes so difficult to practice. The photo attached will show a reservoir, but looking at the surrounding area you can see that it is very dry. Some could practice irrigation but at a small scale and usually it is along the river where there is a suitable soil for cultivation.

The northern part of Malawi usually experiences dry weather, which is different from the southern part of Malawi. And this weather determines the crops that can be grown, this is why farmers from the south are able to grow crops like apples and pineapples; these crops need cool weather. And this gives a limitation to most of the farmers from the northern part of Malawi for the weather in most parts of the north is very dry and hot.

Fish production has been so hard to practice due to lack of water. The government tried to encourage fish farming, but it has not worked. For a farmer to construct a dam he needs to put in a lot of money he does not have for cement and heavy equipment. Because most areas are very dry and for someone to build a dam, he has to construct it using cement (concrete, ed.) so it is safe and will last. For cement constructed dams are better and safer at conserving water than a locally dug dam built of earth. An earthen dam needs a specific texture of soil that usually is scares here in the north.

The government has initiated bee keeping farming. This seems to be effective in most part of northern of Malawi. And my observation on this kind of farming is that it can really be effective if the honey can be improved in taste so that it will be liked by many Malawians, and then it can also be exported to countries.