This is a cliché but true. The Good Little Company is now in its fourth year of developing irrigation projects in Mulanje. With lovely little success stories, such as a man who produced tomatoes and sweet potatoes in 2020 and then managed to sell vines of his (improved) sweet potato crop to an NGO for distribution. He made MK 350,000 in that season, and he invested it in his hardware business.
This irrigation programme promotes, an entrepreneurial spirit, reduces donor dependence, improves nutrition, helps fund children’s education, feeds livestock, and helps develop businesses. Villages without irrigation completely run out of vegetables between April and August, and they certainly have none when the ‘Hungry Season’ starts.
Crucially, through the irrigation schemes, donor dependence is decreasing. In 2020, we provided seeds for the Bololo scheme; however, farmers have continued farming with seeds bought with proceeds from the Village Savings and Loan Committee. The mindset is gradually changing; however, this takes time.
With the sale of crops from the irrigated farms, some have set up small businesses. For example:cake-baking business, a small hardware store, motorcycle transport, and bicycle transport.