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Malawi women key to household food security Flanders

December 4, 2015

Cheu Mita



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Women are an essential part in ensuring that families are well fed and nourished. These were the words of Mieke Govaerts, Policy Advisor

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cooperation vital for m

of Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs (Government of Flanders) when she and the Programme Manager of the Department, Laurence
De Wolf, visited the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)-supported Mgwirizano Farmer Organization in Lilongwe recently.
She said that the Government of Flanders

Donors say Malawi requ

approach to food and n

was partnering with WFP to support local

farmers so that they can realize more from
their harvests.

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Together we are working towards ending

hunger, and I am happy to see there are
many women in this group of farmers, she
Mgwirizano Farmer Organization is a
farmer cooperative in TA Kabudula,
Lilongwe. It currently has a membership of
445 farmers coming from 13 farmer clubs.
Of the total membership, a notable 67
percent are women.
The farmer organization is connected to
the United Nations World Food

Mieke Govaerts of Flanders Government checks the grain after grading

Programme (WFP) under the Purchase for

Progress (P4P) programme, which is
supported by the Government of Flanders
and leverages WFPs purchasing power and

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management to help smallholder farmers

yield the most from their harvests and also
works with partners like the Agricultural
Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) to
build the capacity of smallholder farmers
to engage in collective marketing and sales
on the open market.

Women members of Mgwirizano FO welcoming the Flanders and WFP team at the warehouse

In order to improve access to storage, WFP has facilitated the building of warehouses with funding from various development partners,

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including the Government of Flanders. Rural storage is a necessity for smallholder farmers in Malawi, allowing them to aggregate their
commodities to sell to larger buyers, reduce post-harvest losses and store commodities until a time when prices are most favourable.
With support from Flanders, WFP in partnership with the National Smallholder Farmers Association (NASFAM) and ACE constructed a 700




mt capacity warehouse for the Mgwirizano farmers in 2014.

Despite this years poor harvest, members of Mgwirizano have been able to aggregate an impressive 172 mt of maize, 1.7 mt of
groundnuts, and 1.3 mt of soya beans.
This year the cooperative has so far sold 104 mts of commodities and they are still keeping 67 mt maize in the warehouse. The proceeds
from sales are usually shared among the farmers in proportion to commodities stored at the warehouse.
The income empowers women as they are becoming larger contributors to household income. Among others, members use the income to
purchase farm inputs, including fertilizer and seeds, as well as other basic household needs. Some members have also invested in livestock
The farmer organization is also part of a pilot initiative under Purchase for Progress in collaboration with the NGO Total Landcare, that aims
at promoting resilient livelihoods for smallholder farmers by providing labor-saving technologies such as fuel-efficient stoves, individual
homestead woodlots and alternative conservation agriculture, in order to allow for better use of womens time as well as encouraging
sustainable land practices.


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One thought on Malawi women key to household food security Flanders govt

kambindingu "hard & low" says:

December 4, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Malawian women are just good at chigololo and households pilferages. Most men are poor because of this species called woman. They
reality make me sick.


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