The aim of this project is to improve nutrition of the communities in the Lago District through better agricultural production and practices.
The project has been in operation for over three years it has assisted over 350 farmers by:
- Improved knowledge
- Improved availability of tools and seeds
- Improved agricultural practice though permaculture and agro-ecological systems
- Improved production and variety
- Improved market and distribution
Lago District (Niassa Province, Mozambique) is genuinely one of the most remote parts of Africa. The population is spread over thousands of square kilometres, with few roads, and no electricity, much of this area remains pristine wilderness. The Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project depends on preserving this paradise.
MWAP's sustainable agriculture now takes place in eight villages of the total fourteen in the project area. Fifty- six vegetable gardens were established in last year's dry season after beneficiaries received training in understanding the importance of soil conservation, natural pest control, plant care, improved irrigation methods and sustainable methods of farming.
The harvest has produced a large variety of vegetables, and improved nutrition and income for the villages involved.
In an area where subsistence farming is virtually the only means of survival, MWAP'S objective is to encourage farmers to grow surplus produce to sell to Nkwichi Lodge and other local markets in the area. This has been partially achieved, but individual farms have had problems producing enough of a surplus to meet the increasing demands.
In the past, agricultural and horticultural training in the community has taken place on demonstration garden plots in individual villages. Due to the success of the project, it was decided that the project would establish a demonstration farm to act as an additional teaching tool in training local farmers to build and expand on the knowledge and successes already achieved.
With a very generous donation from The Dawe Charitable Trust, Cambridge, UK, MWAP has funding for a 3-year programme, providing the stability for the project to continue and expand.
The Demonstration farm, complete with overnight accommodation, is being constructed at present. It will enable MWAP's training to become more thorough, diversified and embrace areas such as small scale livestock production, bee keeping, fish farming, processing of fresh produce and local arts and crafts.
The farm will give hands on training to communities who wish to learn more of specific crops and activities without risking their own land, capital or labour (often one of the largest concerns of farmers introducing new production methods).
After two years of training in the area, to be able to demonstrate different methods and improved results is the ideal way of teaching a population that has received little education.
While being a vital, practical tool in training and development in the area, it will, once completed be a commercially sustainable farm that meets market demands in the area. The farm will be sustainable through the sale of fresh, processed produce and locally made crafts to the Lodges in the area.
The farm will produce specialized vegetables (year round) which are not being produced by the local communities under MWAP. Some of the produce grown by the communities will be bought by the farm and processed into jams, sauces, preserves and relishes. These will then be sold to and through the Lodges. The farm will also focus on livestock products such as goats, chickens, guinea fowl, rabbits, ducks and fish. It is intended that the farm becomes a small scale breeding project to assist the communities to expand and improve their production of meats.
The farm will be a centre in training, making and marketing of craft products made from local materials such as candles, soap, paper making, woven crafts and wood carvings. These will be sold to and through the Lodge and in the future, further a field.
The farm is located twenty minutes walk from the Lodge and all visiting guests are welcome to see for themselves the work and progress that's taking place.