Victorious Gardens could alleviate hunger in Malawi – US NGO

Permaculture must be considered as one of the low cost interventions which can help alleviate hunger which has affected over 6 million people in the country, Face to Face a US based NGO has said after launching small home-gardens also known as victorious Gardens in Lilongwe’s T/A Tsabango area.

Wong officially handing over the gardens to Group Tsabango

Wong officially handing over the gardens to Group Tsabango

Home made liquid manure

Home made liquid manure

Village Headman Chatotoweka and his wife picking vegetables in one of the Victory Garden

Village Headman Chatotoweka and his wife picking vegetables in one of the Victory Garden

Ken Wong-Country Director Face to Face

Ken Wong-Country Director Face to Face

Speaking in place of Senior Chief Tsabango who was out of the country during the Launch, Goup Village Tsabango hailed face to face for mobilizing people to restore the culture of owning home gardens which most Malawians used to have within their homes.

Tsabango said thousands of people are struggling to access food and this initiative will mitigate their suffering.

He therefore made an appeal to village headmen and communities to revive the gardens when they return home.

“The beauty about this concept is that various types of vegetables can be grown in in one place including indigenous ones. Seeds are locally provided, diseases are treated with indigenous knowledge, we use small quantities of water and farmers apply simple and homemade manure,” said Group Tsabango

One of the beneficiaries Marry Chimdima confessed that she never knew that such gardens could help them survive in present desperate moments.

“Is used to trade the little maize I had for relish but now it’s the opposite and I struggle no more when it comes to relish besides I saving time and money since everything is within my vicinity,” said Chimdima

Her sentiments were backed by Village Headman Chatotoweka whose garden was one of the best people had seen on the day.

He said leading by example would help most people go for the gardens which are despised but have the potential and power to transform lives.

Chatotoweka Said “I have a bigger garden away from my house and the water is dry that side. Since I introduced this small garden here the yield is high and not labour intensive, my plan is to apply the victory gardens concept on my big “Dimba” so that I can benefit more”.

Ken Wong Director of Face to Face America and Malawi said he was impressed that communities are able to appreciate the value of having such small gardens and it is there is hope that thousands will be reached and that majority of the country’s population will consider this an easy option to alleviating hunger.

One of the challenges facing the project is facing is inadequate funding as it is currently run on a 250 000 us dollars budget approximately 180 million kwacha at the present exchange rate.

The launch attracted over 200 chiefs and hundreds of communities who showed interest in the concept.

Face to Face also encourages communities to go for HIV testing and uses various sporting activities including sports to drum up support for their cause.

Over 22 thousand households or 100 thousand people from 4 Traditional Authorities in Lilongwe and Chintheche in Nkhata-Bay are expected form the project up to 2017.

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