Dafter Chiwaya (centre) stands with Henry Tebulo (right) and fellow committee member Peter Njunga beside one of their irrigation canals.

Copyright: WFP/Sarah Rawson

Malawi Farmers Beat Drought With Year-round Farming

In 2004, WFP implemented a food-for-asset project in Phalombe district in southern Malawi. Ten years later, the farmers who took part in the project are self-sufficient - no longer left high and dry when the weather turns against them. 


Malawi is a small landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa, bordering Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique.  It covers an area of 118,500 sq. km and has an estimated population of 16 million. The country is defined as low-income and ranks 170 out of 187 countries in the 2012 UNDP Human Development Index. Over 40 percent of the populations live on less than US$1 per day (2010 Government of Malawi MDG Report).  Malawi’s landholdings are generally small, particularly in the densely populated south, leading to the over-use of marginally productive agricultural land, causing soil erosion and nutrient depletion. More than 40 percent of rural households cultivate less than half a hectare, mainly devoted to maize production.

Malawi's Millennium Goal

Malawi has been named by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation as one of 20 countries to have met Millennium Development Goal number one, to halve the proportion of hungry people ahead of a 2015 deadline. Progress was measured between 1990-92 and 2010-12, against benchmarks established by the international community at the UN General Assembly in 2000.

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Country at a glance 2014
Planned Beneficiaries0
Beneficiary needs (mt)96,877
Beneficiary needs ($US)78,380,427