Malawi's Homegrown Vegetables Ease Food Shortage
In Malawi, over 6 million people need food aid because severe weather has made growing corn crops difficult. But small home gardens are helping. The Victory Garden Campaign is working with people in the capital city of Lilongwe to grow a variety of vegetables near their houses.
Edson Kumbani and his family live in the Likuni area of the capital city. He created a garden last year after his corn crop failed.
Like most farmers in Malawi, his family depended on corn as its main source of food. But now he grows vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, beans and potatoes.
His wife, Efrida helps with the garden.
"Now I have even stopped asking my husband about food whenever he leaves the house. I just enter the garden and pick whatever food I need for the family and cook it."
Kumbani began his garden with help from a U.S. anti-hunger charity, Face to Face. Its mission is to help communities help themselves. Ken Wong is the director.
"What we want to do is roll out our Victory Garden solution, our solution of changing the way that Malawians think about farming, and thinking about food, so that Malawi can break the cycle of poverty."
About 22,000 families in the Likuni, Tsabango and Mitundu areas are benefiting from the campaign. Each person that receives training will teach 25 other people.
The small gardens are about 2.5 square meters and can grow up to 15 kinds of plants, vegetables and fruit trees.
The campaign chooses plants and trees that can survive on little water. The weather is still dry in Malawi and some villagers must walk a long way to get water. Even so, the seeds of change for a healthier future are being planted.
I'm Dorothy Gundy.