Mr Gospel Mvula is a 34-year old man from Bala Section in Chikangawa EPA in Mzimba South District, Northern Malawi. He has been a farmer since 2009. He is married to Elizabeth Theu and they have three children.

Mr Mvula has been farming his land which has fairly poor soils from degradation. He was struggling to make ends meet because the maize yield from his land would not last the whole season. He was harvesting between 300kg and 500kg of maize from 2 pieces of land amounting to 0.8ha.

In 2016/17, he and his fellow farmers were fortunate to see Deep Bed Farming (DBF) in Matuli, Msipazi and neighbouring areas in Emsizini EPA. They were very impressed with the method and the resultant yields.

They approached Tiyeni through on of the Field Officers (Mr Khalani Longwe) and as a result of this approach, Khalani introduced DBF into the Bala Community in 2017/18. Gospel was one of those that tried DBF on 0.1ha of land. He was also nominated as a Lead Farmer for one of the three farmer clubs formed in Bala in that year. The yield was so impressive that in 2018/2019 he started redeeming the land which he had virtually abondoned due to degradation, by converting it to DBF farming. With the land converted to DBF, it had a very good vegetative growth of maize and during harvest Gospel Mvula produced an extraordinary increase in maize yield from about 500 kgs to 2,500 Kgs (see the table below).

Mr Mvula has used DBF for two years and he plans to convert all his land to DBF this year. He is delighted to have discovered and then learned this method.  By deep tilling and using manure, his land has been transformed to become productive again. In addition, by adopting DBF he has found that he does not need to use as much artificial fertiliser- reducing the cost of growing the crop.  (He used 200kg in 2017 and only 100 kgs in 2019)

Year

Ridges Land area (ha)

DBF Land area (ha)

Aggregate Yield (kgs)

2016/17

0.8ha

0

300

2017/18

0.7ha

0.1ha

550

2018/19

0.1ha

0.7ha

2,660

2019/20

0

.8ha

results awaited

Land Area for Mr Gospel Mvula

 

His wife Elizabeth Theu is very happy to have adopted DBF. She says DBF has increased their yields of maize, beans and soya beans and groundnuts. She says DBF has more than tripled maize yield and it has also double or tripled their legume crop yields. She said this year they have more than enough maize and will sell about 1.5 tones for cash income. She said her life is transforming from poverty and shortage of maize to a food secure and a happy family by DBF farming.

Mr Mvula has been presented with a pig from Tiyeni livestock pass-on programme. Tiyeni runs a small livestock pass-on scheme to help the farmer make quality manure and improve livelihoods from proceeds food and selling of the animals as they multiply. He has now been able to make quality manure all year round. Quality manure has been seen to greatly improved the vegetative growth of maize and other crops. Farmers in Bala have appreciated Tiyeni for DBF and manure also for vegetable yields which have also improved.

He is taking good care of the pig which came as piglet in November 2018 and now (August 2019) it is about two months pregnant. Mr Mvula is very happy with his pig and expects to grow into a livestock entrepreneur by raising several pigs for manure and selling.