Malawi Lake Basin Programme (MLBP) was started in 2006 by five consortium members; three are Malawian based organizations namely; Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Co-operatives (MUSCCO), Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM) and National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) as well as those from Sweden; We Effect and Vi-Agro Forestry.
The consortium remains committed to improving the livelihoods of rural poor households in Malawi through productive and sustainable management of agricultural resources including the promotion of viable, alternative livelihood options that reduce pressure on land, forests and water resources; promotion of business- oriented agriculture and strengthening of rural peoples’ organizations so that they effectively represent and defend the interests of their members.
Mtonda study circle is one of the vibrant groups in Chitiwiri cluster of Chimwavi 2 village in Traditioanal Authority Karonga in Salima district. The group has 15 members of which 13 are females and 2 are males.This group started in March 2019 with the intentionof helping one another to achieve development. After discussing their problems, they came up with a business idea of planting tomatoes and vegetables. They planted tomatoes on half acre in March 2019 and after sales they realised MK400, 000 of which every member received an equal share of MK25, 000, and the remainingbalance was used to buy uniform for the group. Members also came up with VSLA of which some members used the money for shares.
AnesiLivitoni aged 25, married with 4 children is a member ofMndola study circle. She got her MK25,000 in July and bought a goat at MK15,000. The remaining money was used to buy some food stuffs. This is what Anesi said “if it wasn’t for this group, my dream of having some livestock would have remained a wish”
Another success and interesting story was shared by MelifaNthuzi of Mtondo study circle of the same Chitiwiri Cluster aged 38 with three children. From the MK25000 she paid MK11500 forschool fees for her form 2daughter Stella who is at Nkhwelo community day secondary school.The balance was used to meet other household daily needs.
“Old age is not a restriction to participate in developmental activities” said VeyaFotea 73year old woman fromthe same group. When she got the MK25, 000 she used MK18, 400 to buy a bag of UREA fertilizerfor her 2 acres garden where she plants maize, groundnuts andrice. The other money was used as share for VSLA.