Why Trees Mean Food Security in Malawi

Written by Plant With Purpose on August 22, 2012 in General

To follow up on Thursday’s post about agroforestrywe’d like to share an actual video about an innovative agriculture program taking place in Malawi. Last month, Bob (Plant With Purpose’s technical director), Christi (Africa program officer), and some staff members from the Plant With Purpose Burundi and Tanzania offices traveled to Malawi to learn more about how farmers there are improving their food production. The video should give you an idea of the kind of work that Plant With Purpose is doing. By combining environmental restoration and innovative agriculture techniques, farmers are able to grow and sell more food. And that means they can better provide for their families.


In Malawi, 80% of people depend on farming for survival. As the population has increased, farms are shrinking, so people are clearing forests for fuel wood and land. That means less fertile soil, which means less food production. 

This issue is creating more problems—families are malnourished, those with HIV or AIDS have a hard time fighting the illness, and women and children are put in harm’s way as they go in search of more wood for cooking fires. 

Trees really are a life-saving solution. Farmers are being trained to plant trees for firewood, fruit, and fertilizer. These trees bring a variety of food, the soil gains nutrients to produce more crops, abundance is sold in the market, and parents have enough money to buy cows, which further improve the health and nutrition of their children.

Sound too good to be true? Watch this video, Trees for Life, to learn about this affordable and sustainable hope for the future.

Credit: Malawi’s Agroforestry Food Security Program funded by Irish Aid
Coordinated by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) 

And stay tuned—we’ll be posting more training videos in the future.

Questions? Post them here, and we’ll be sure to respond.

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