Water for small-scale farmers – Malawi

Water for small-scale farmers – Malawi

Malawi experiences only one rainy season, which runs from December to April. Consequently, farmers in Malawi are often limited to cultivating crops for only 3-4 months per year. Access to water outside the rainy season remains a significant challenge for many farmers in the region. This issue is increasingly recognized as a major barrier to improving rural livelihoods in Malawi. By extending the growing season and implementing irrigation techniques, agricultural productivity can be increased, leading to higher incomes for farmers.

We are helping farmers increase access to water by developing sustainable water sources and providing farmers with access to a small water pump with a solar panel, among other initiatives.

Shallow wells

Many farmers extract water for irrigation from shallow water sources. Since groundwater is usually not very deep, they can easily dig wells and pump water, often using a watering can. However, these sources often become depleted quickly or collapse. We are helping farmers to make these sources more sustainable for example by reinforcing them or making them multifunctional by also cultivating fish in them.

Small solar powered pump

For many farmers, the biggest hurdle is the time and effort they must invest in fetching water with watering cans. A pump is often too expensive or quickly depletes the water source. However, with a small, simple, and affordable pump, they can easily extract water from a source and irrigate their land directly. By providing farmers with access to this pump, they can irrigate a larger area, leading to increased income. The pump is easy to move and can be safely stored at home.