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

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Prospects for the 2011/2012 rainfall season in Malawi

SUMMARY: Normal total rainfall amounts are expected over most parts of Malawi during the 2011/2012 rainfall season.

People should expected normal rains by January 2012

Climate scientists from the National Meteorological Services within the SADC region, including Malawi, met from 17th to 28th August 2011 in Windhoek, Namibia. The aim of the meeting was to come up with a consensus forecast for the 2011/2012 rainfall season for the SADC region. This was presented to users at the fifteenth Southern Africa Regional Climate Outlook Forum (SARCOF-15) which took placefrom 29th to 31st August 2011 at the same venue.

The consensus forecast was prepared using national inputs with additional contributions from International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI, USA), National Centre for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, USA), European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), UK Met Office, and Meteo France. The rainfall seasonal forecast is based on models that use scientifically established relationships between rainfall over Southern Africa and Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the oceans.

While some models continue to predict El Nino/ Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral conditions which imply neither El Nino nor La Nina, the majority are predicting increasingly negative SSTs (cooling) in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, implying the return of La Nina conditions, up to March 2012.

For Malawi, the consensus outlook indicates that during the period October to December 2011, the northern half of the country has 35% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal while the Southern half has 25% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 35% chance of being below normal.

During the period January to March 2012, the northern half of Malawi has 35% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 40% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal while the Southern half has 40% chance of rainfall total being above normal, 35% chance of being normal and 25% chance of being below normal.

Based on the above analysis, the 2011/2012 forecast indicates that from October to December 2011, the northern half of the country will receive normal to above normal total rainfall amounts while the southern half will experience normal to below normal total rainfall amounts. The greater part of the country will experience normal to above normal total rainfall amounts during January to March 2012.

This forecast covers the rainfall season from October 2011 to March 2012 and is relevant only to seasonal time-scales and relatively large areas. It does not fully account for local and month to month variations in distribution of rainfall such as localised dry spells and flash floods.

This seasonal forecast is issued to users as a planning tool. For day to day operations, users are advised to make use of the available short and medium range forecasts and the 10-day Rainfall and Agrometeorological bulletin.

For further information contact: The Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services, P.O. Box 1808, Blantyre;    E-mail: metdept@metmalawi.com; Tel: (265) 1 822014; Fax: (265) 1 822215. Website: www.metmalawi.com.

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.

Weeding period

The “Get Up Stand Up” Project Coordinator, Henry Goster and agronomist, John Martin visited Mvunguti group in Mpezeni village on 24 November where they met 8 farmers with the aim of strengthening the relationship between the project and farmers and also to see how they are working in their fields.

According to John Martin, this period farmers are weeding in their fields and out of all the members they have visited, only a few have not finished weeding.

The Coordinator said that most of the farmers have cultivated  2 Acres land.

However, some farmers are complaining that the two bags of fertilizers they have received are not enough.

In his response, the coordinator of the project said that it was difficult to give them more than that because some of the farmers have not yet finished paying back their 2010 loan to the project.
“Since prices of commodities are increasing every day, it was difficult for us to give them a chance to take more than two bags because the cost of each bag has also increased and some haven’t yet finished paying back last year’s loans. There is hope that next season they will have a choice to take as many bags as they want only if they will pay their loan in time,” said the Coordinator.

Get up Stand Up Coordinator starts visiting farmers

Set to go: Some of the beneficiaries of the project who has already received farm inputs

After distributing fertilizer to farmers, the Project Coordinator, Henry Goster and the agronomist John Martin have started to visit farmers today 24 November in their areas.The exercise will end on  15 December. The aim of the visit is to advise them on how they should apply the farm inputs they have received from the project.

16 groups have already received both the first and second applications. The remaining 4 groups are expected to receive fertilizer as soon as they finish to payback their previous loans. The following are groups expected to be visited:-
Group                                                                   Village
Mulandula                                                          Mulandula

Chilungamo                                                        Chipote

Mvunguti                                                            Mpezeni
Titukuke                                                              Kainga
Tisangalale                                                          Matola
Mwaiwanthu                                                     Nsamanyada
Khwalala                                                              Sungaleke
Limbikani                                                             Kanyumba aka
Chikhwamba                                                      Njeleka
Mpulula                                                               Mpulula
Kulyolyopela                                                      Chiuja
Saidi Sana                                                            Saidi sana
Nankhombe                                                       Petro
Tikondwere                                                        Nsaka
Madalitso                                                            Rabson
Umodzi                                                                Andiamo