Visiting Beneficiaries – Report

From 24th November, 2011 up to date

So far we have managed to visit 15 clubs which consist of 157 beneficiaries. We are now remaining with 3 groups of about 34 beneficiaries.

In the fields we visited, all the farmers did their land preparation in time and they planted in mid November, but only a few seeds survived. Some of the fields look good though mainly those close to the rivers. Though we had poor or no rains almost all the farmers have done weeding. In other fields, farmers had to plant thrice.

We advised farmers to plant again when the rains start. They were also told not to apply fertilizer now. If they apply now they will earn nothing. So  to avoid losing these fertilizers they have to wait but those who have their gardens near liver banks can do so while relying on irrigation.

They were also encouraged to continue to take care of their fields so that when rains come they can plant. Farmers also complained that they have just wasted their seeds.

In conclusion, we have Balaka has started to receive good rains and we hope farmers will make use of these rains.

Henry Goster

Project Coordinator

Christmas Message by Fr. Mario Pacifici

Christmas 2011

Today, 14 December, is my birthday

and I invite you to join me in thanking the Lord

for the simple and great gift of life,

with its joy and sorrows.

Day by day it is a renewed commitment

in order to answer the call to life

to always live with joy and generosity

for donating it in its fullness.

A journalist asked Mother Teresa of Calcutta:

“What should change in the Church?”

She answered: “You and me”.

The child Jesus is coming again

and with trust we have to ask ourselves

“What can I change in my life,

for the world and the Church to be better?”

“If you accept that

the face of your neighbour is not similar to yours,

accept also that their opinion are different from yours.”

From Malawi the wish that Christmas

will gift the sobriety,

the universal brotherhood

the solidly love

and prepare our refectories

to welcome Jesus with joy

and also who is near and far from us

fr. Mario

Visiting Farmers

The cloud seems promising

As one way of making sure that farmers are practicing good farming methods and that the the farm inputs they are obtained are not sold, the project coordinator Henry Goster and the Agronomist John Martin, are visiting farmers in different areas.

According to the two, the situation in the fields is almost the same. Almost all the farmers have finished weeding as is evidenced in Chipote, Kainga, Njeleka, Mpulula, Kanyumba aka, and Nsaka Villages. The Coordinator has urged the farmers to continue taking care of their fields as they wait for the rains to apply fertilizer.

In Rabson Village and Nankhombe Village for example, the situation has gone worse as the rain is not coming and there is too much sun which has caused the maize to wilt. The Coordinator has advised the farmers to plant again when rains come.

The Coordinator also encouraged groups to continue conducting meetings like Petro group in Nankhombe village where they usually meet every Saturday at the village headman’s house.

Besides maize, It was also noticed that in some villages like Chipote and Njeleka the farmers are growing tomatoes and cotton.

The project has so far managed to visit 11 groups.

A visit to Matola and Mulandula

On 26 November the Coordinator of Get Up Stand Up, Henry Goster and Agronomist John Martin visited Matola village to meet Tisangalale group a newly registered in the project.Although they didn’t meet all the farmers as some were away from their homes. They only visited the fields of those who were present.

According to the coordinator, all the farmers they managed to meet, have already finished weeding as they planted early with the first rains.

The officers also managed to visit Mulandula Group in Mulandula village on 28 November. There, they found that most of the farmers have finished weeding and they will apply the first application of fertilizer soon as the rains have just started after the whole month without.

The Mulandula group has also proved before that they are hard working. Last season, each member harvested not less than 25 bags in a 2 Acres field. Chairman of the group, Felson Macheka harvested 67 bags of maize from a 6 Acres field which he described as “far from his expectations”. He explained that if there was no drought he could have harvested more than 100 bags.

During the visit, it was also noted that some of the farmers have also grown cotton.

5oo bags of fertilizer arrived today

250 bags of Super Chitowe and 250 of Optican fertilizer has finally arrived at Andiamo for the Get up Stand up Project on 5 November, 2011.
The Bags were offloaded in the presence of the Agronomist John Martin, the Secretary and Accountant of the project Judith Kalambo. At last they  signed as witnesses that the bags were offloaded in their presence. In addition, the bags were kept at a good place to ensure full security of them.
John Martin said that the Project will start distributing the farm inputs next week.  “This time we are not carrying the fertilizer to the farmers because of fuel crisis which has also affected our operations,” added John Martin.

leading with good example

As it was agreed that April should be the first month for farmers to start paying back the money to the project, some have already started showing a good example. One of the beneficiaries of the project who is also a deputy director for andiamo youth Cooperative Trust, Ellen Nthenda has already paid have of the amount on 19th April, 2011.

Mr Michael Chilumpha from Mbvunguti group, who owed the project the money mounting to 21, 000.00 of Kwacha, has paid the whole amount at once  on 28th April.

Many beneficiaries are being expected to finish paying back half of the loan by May 15 but the period of paying back will end in august as some of the farmers have not yet finished harvesting.