Malawi hosts famine conference

Written by  Chisomo Ngulube

Malawi will host 500 farmers, researchers and agriculturalists at a conference on beating famine in Southern Africa at the Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe from 14 to 17 April as the sub-region grapples with a land degradation crisis that has threatened food security.

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According to a press statement, the conference organised by World Vision Malawi (WVM) and World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) aims to spread the word about conservation agriculture, agroforestry and other sustainable farming techniques that can halt land degradation in Southern Africa.

“The conference will show that by adopting low-cost farming practices, farmers can boost the productivity of their land and build resilience to climate change,” the statement says.

Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration Technologies’ among the technologies to be showcased at the conference to encourage farmers to grow indigenous trees in their gardens.

“Trees on farm have numerous benefits. They provide necessary soil cover, they enrich the soil, thereby improving soil fertility and soil productivity. They also reduce run-off of water,” said World Vision’s economic development expert Frank Tembo.

During the 2014/2015 rainy season, Malawi faced some of its worst floods that affected 15 of the country’s 28 districts leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and over 100 people dead.

WVM, a Christian humanitarian organisation started operating in Malawi in 1981 and tackles poverty and injustice while ICRAF is a leading research institution on the diverse role trees play in Africa.

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