Some of the beneficiaries
By Duncan Mlanjira
As the country has started receiving rains, Malawi Relief Fund UK (MRF-UK) donated 5,000 bags of fertilizer to rural farmers in Balaka to assist them attain good yields.
Presenting the donation, MRF-UK country coordinator, Yakub Valli said Malawi has the potential to attain food security if vulnerable communities have access to farm inputs just as the Tonse government is striving to achieve through the Affordable Input Programme (AIP).
“Vulnerable communities are in majority nationwide, therefore they have the potential to contribute to food security or its insecurity if they are not given needed support,” Valli said.
“The objective is to ensure that communities in hard-to-reach areas must apply fertilizer to their crops to realize better yields this year.
“Once farmers realize good yields, they can sell the surplus later in order to buy fertilizer on their own in the next planting season by taking advantage of the government’s Affordable Input Programme initiative.”
The needy beneficiaries were identified by the communities traditional leaders and their Member of Parliament.
One of the beneficiaries, Rennie Ndembo from Mategula Village said fertilizer is key to farming and that in the previous growing seasons she failed to realize better yields because of lack of this important farm input.
“I am optimistic that I will have good yield this growing season and this fertilizer donation has come at the right time when rains have just started,” she said.
Valli said similar donations have been made in 12 districts — Blantyre, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Mwanza, Machinga, Mangochi, Salima, Nkhotakota, Dedham, Lilongwe, Kasungu and Ntcheu, where they distributed 5,000 bags of fertilizer.
MRF-UK is an NGO charity registered in the UK and Malawi aimed at alleviating poverty in Malawi.
Since its establishment, it has been working in Central and Southern Regions of Malawi for the past 10 years.
Just last August, MRF-UK swiftly respond to an SOS call of food relief for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital’s paedriatic wards when there was ESCOM power failure and the gensets also failed — creating a crisis whereby the kitchen could not provide evening food for patients in the wards.
The food items included 500 packs of readily cooked food packs prepared by Kips Restaurant and also youghurt as dessert.
In January this year, MRF-UK partnered with Malawi Special Olympics in a programme which is reaching out to primary schools that enroll special needs learners to facilitate health screening exercises.
Malawi Special Olympics reaches out to schools in more than 24 districts in Malawi in conjunction with Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare.
In November last year, MRF-UK partnered with Islamic Zakaat Fund (IZF) by investing over K900 million over a period of 4 years to provide financial support for 224 underprivileged Malawian students to complete higher tertiary education in various universities and colleges across the country.
MRF-UK also funds Shukran Orphan Care Centre in Zomba.