It’s been a busy couple of days, visiting a professional polytunnel farm in Blantyre and moving on to a small farm where we hope to place the first of our 150 polytunnels.
Ruth at Roseberry Farms showed us what is possible in Malawi. Polytunnel farming means that tomatoes and salad vegetables can be grown to supermarket standards through good training and embracing modern technology. We’re excited to see what can be done in the North of Malawi as our women farmers take up smart agriculture in this way.
Our next stop was Kande where we met Grace and Emily – two remarkable women who have had good careers but have now returned to their village and to farming, and are inspiring other women and the next generation through their farm. They already have two of our Futurepumps and we are preparing to help them get started with Polytunnel farming.
Their tomatoes in the field were great and we’re sure that they will make the most of the Polytunnels. This is the heart of what we do at Malawi Fruits – getting modern farming technology into the hands of small-scale farmers and training them to maximise the potential of that. Emily was pointing to the young people helping in the field – she calls them her grandchildren although some are orphans who she cares for – and she was telling us that the farm, with its Futurepump irrigation, is paying their school fees. “Just imagine what we can do for them when we have Polytunnels!”, she said.
Malawi is a fascinating place and we were sitting having breakfast beside Lake Malawi yesterday morning when a monkey came and stole a slice of toast off the table. The waiter chased him away and threw a stone at him. The monkey calmly picked up the stone and threw it back! You don’t get breakfast entertainment like that in the UK.