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Halima’s Children no-longer going to school hungry

Frustrating rural poverty through AWILI

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Halima’s Children no-longer going to school hungry

Halima Jawado, joined Agwenda Women Input Loan Initiative (AWILI) in 2021. Ever-since she joined, she has been realizing steady increased productivity as she continues to follow Good Agricultural Practices thanks to the constant trainings provided by AWILI extension officers. Her productivity and incomes have been improved as compared in the past years. She is now able to support her household and has some extra money for savings.

Halima Jawado is a mother of 8 children. She is a member of Chitenje club in group village headman Kulusa 3, Traditonal Authority Mwadzama in Linga EPA, Nkhotakota District. In September 2021, she attended Agwenda Women Input Loan Initiative (AWILI) program sensitization and registration meeting at GVH Kalusa 3 residence.

Before joining AWILI, her family faced consistent household food insecurity; they could only afford full day meals for four months after the harvest and her children would regularly go to school or bed on empty stomachs the entire 8 months of the year. Before joining AWILI, Alima struggled to feed her family such that she was forced to do piece works and brew kachasu (local beer) in order to raise money to supplement household food requirements.

Halima, a member of Chitenje club joined AWILI in 2021 growing season and grew her rice on one acre piece of land where she realised bumper harvest as compared to the previous years as she practiced System of Rice Intensification (SRI), a new rice farming technology trained by AWILI. She is now all smiles after harvesting enough rice to last her throughout the year to feed her family while having excess for sale for the first time in her life.

Previously, she would run out of food the first 3 months after harvest and would start begging for food (from neighbouring friends and relatives) to feed her family or ask for piece works to buy food, ”I even begged for rice seed from my neighbour last year so that I can plant but the issue of begging is history now thanks to AWILI for jumping to the rescue” she mentions. 

”In 2021/2022 farming season I joined AWILI program and got a 50kg bag of fertilizer and 75 grams of chillies seed and 5 kgs of rice seed. I paid back part of my harvest religiously and managed to make good sales from the remainder of the harvest” Alima explained.

“With the introduction of AWILI program in Kalusa 3, I am able to make and draw plans for family food security which included producing more rice for home consumption and selling the surplus. Currently our family has managed to reserve 20 bags of 50kg. My household is now food secure and the children are able to go to school after eating rice porridge for breakfast and they carry rice packed meal (for lunch)”, she explained joyfully

This has motivated her to upscale the practice to the rest of her 0.6 hectares field during the 2022-2023 season and she expects to harvest more than 100 bags of paddy rice. Alima plans to continue partnering with AWILI in the future so that she builds a house for her large family using rice sales proceeds. Alima attributes her success to the advice she gets from the AWILI field officer of the area.

AWILI is a self sustaining agribusiness model tailor made for rural smallholder farmers founded and being implemented by Agwenda Investment Limited in Nkhotakota, Salima, Ntchisi, Dowa and Lilongwe and its goal is to contribute towards increasing income and improved food security for smallholder (Especially women and youths) farming households across Malawi in a profit oriented and sustainable manner.