Malawi has a large, growing population with one of the highest population densities in Africa. It is also one of the poorest countries on the continent, with an economy that is dominated by low-level subsistence agriculture.  It is significant that thise \malawi families that are better off seem to have smaller families.  By farmers lifting themselves out of poverty a side effect may be that population growth will stabilise

These farmers face the dual challenge of employing poor traditional agricultural practices with acute and worsening environmental conditions such as droughts and floods.  This results in poor harvests and frequent crop failures, with farmers unable to break out of a cycle of hunger and poverty at a time when climate change is making the growing seasons more unpredicable.

Traditional agricultural practices

Sadly, suboptimal traditional subsistence agriculture is practiced throughout the country. This is clearly unsustainable: as well as trapping farmers in poverty, it also results in highly damaging degradation of the countryside. This degradation and the attendant loss of fertility now constitutes a serious national crisis. In 1997, a World Bank study of agriculture in Malawi stated that for each hectare of farmland, 20 tonnes of soil were lost each year, all because of poor farming practices.  A recent FAO study indicates that soil loss in Northern Malawi is nearer 29 tonnes loss every year per hectare.

Our aim..

Tiyeni’s ultimate aim is to stop damaging and unsustainable farming practices throughout Malawi. Agriculture in Malawi is currently dominated by the outside provision of money, food and fertiliser to subsistence communities. Employing these practices, farmers remain trapped in poverty, yet the land is becoming increasingly degraded. Tiyeni aims to replace these practices with more progressive, enlightened and profitable farming. This will enable farmers to become self-sufficient; to be able to break out of the cycle of poverty, to support themselves, their families and their communities, whilst rehabilitating the land for future generations.