From 2011 to today

Following the investigatory visit in 2011 by the Professor of Sustainability from Huddersfield University, Adrian Wood, it was reported that Tiyeni system of Deep Bed Farming had proved its worth and was ready for upscaling.

In 2013 Colin Andrews, Alan Dixon and Andrew Burrows joined the board and a substantial donor was found.  A strategy was put in place to extend "pods" of farmers within 45 kms of Mzuzu allowing for the organic spread of the method.

By 2014 it was clear that the demand for training from farmers was intense and further staff were needed to respond to requests for training from farmer communities.  It was also clear that Tiyeni needed to be properly and legally established in Malawi.  A proper office building was taken in Mzuzu and full establishment of Tiyeni in Malawi, properly accredited and legally formed as a member of Congoma.  New staff were employed to augment what Godfrey Kumwenda and Namelord Phiri were achieving in the field,  including a high profile agriculturalist, Isaac Chavula, a finance accountant, Chance Mwenitete and a monitoring and evaluating specialist, France Gondwe.

By 2017, requests for training were being received by communities and non-government organisation in all three regions of Malawi.  Added to this, an increasing number of Government field officers were requesting training, because the yields being seen in the Deep Bed fields were substantially higher than the traditionally farmed fields.  It was clear that the demand for training was far greater than the supply of training staff and training materials  - so Tiyeni decided to concentrate on "hotspots" (defined as areas where a large number of farmers were ready to adopt).  These hotspots would, it was felt, become centres of excellence resulting in the majority of the land being adopted for deep beds. The retention of water from all these farms would keep the wells filled to a higher level, the streams running for longer and the crops even more resilient to the effects of climate change.  The British High Commissioner visited the Tiyeni farms and was amazed to see brown shrivelled leaves of maize all over the area EXCEPT where there were deep beds, where the strong stands of maize were deep green bearing large cobs.  She said that this method is so obviously superior she was sure it would be adopted nationally.

Very importantly, a number of very large agricultural charities were expressing interest in what Tiyeni was doing, and the Malawi Government Research Organisation proposed that it would carry out extensive research on the deep bed system during the growing period 2018/2019.  80 trial beds were set up in nine different areas of Malawi under the watchful eyes of Tiyeni staff.  Full results from yield data being taken during Jukly and August by Government researches will be made public later in 2019.


By 2018, this strategy was so successful that it was creating and overload of work and projects for Tiyeni and a change of strategy was planned.  In UK , new Trustees were selected, covering areas of expertise that would be needed for the next phase of Tiyeni's growth.

There are some 2.5 million farmers in Malawi and it had always been clear that Tiyeni would never have the resources to train all of them.  Indeed, as it should always be the farmers' choice what method is used, the important aim of Tiyeni was to ensure that every farmer has the OPPORTUNITY to adopt Deep Bed Farming.  And so the new plan was devised to react to these influences.  Tiyeni aims to train the trainers, be they government field officers or other NGOs. Tiyeni is in a position to train with its highly motivated and knowledgeable staff, so that the methodology can be cascaded throughout the country.  To do this there will need to be three large showcasing hotspots, larger versions of what has already been created, and strong advocacy based in the capital city Liliongwe.  As always, Tiyeni will only react to requests from training from those who have seen the results of adoption of Deep Bed Farming