Farmers’ solution in the bag

  The harvest months of May and June should be a period of relief for Malawi’s farmers, after battling a prolonged dry spell, attacks by armyworms and flooding in some areas. But many farmers, such as Clement Kasitomu of Dowa District, now face a new worry: Losing as much as 40 percent of their harvest…

Climate extremes, policy confuse farmers

Elias Kanyangale is ecstatic about his maize harvest. Balancing on a homemade ladder, the farmer retrieves cobs from a full granary, the bounty of this year’s good rains, which broke three years of drought in Malawi. Kanyangale, 44, from Kalumbu village, part of the capital city Lilongwe, says his 5-tonne harvest of maize is double…

Abandoned brides turn to sex work

When Memory Chitsulo was still in school, she married a man 10 years her senior. But he soon left for South Africa, leaving her with a baby. Desperate for money, she turned to sex work. “My parents died in a bus accident when I was 14. I got married since no one could take care…

How can Malawi protect its forests?

Impoverished villagers are hacking down Malawi’s forests to make charcoal, undeterred by government efforts to confiscate the dirty fuel as a power deficit stokes demand. Only 9 percent of the southern African country’s population have access to electricity, ensuring a good market for the charcoal produced by communities living near forests. The fuel is sold…