What do we do?
The Soils, Food and Healthy Communities (SFHC) project in Ekwendeni, northern Malawi, began in 2000 with thirty farmers, and is now working with over 4000 farmers. It is a participatory project, in which farmers try to improve soil fertility, food security and nutrition through the use of grain or perennial legumes (e.g. peanut or soyabean). The legumes fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, such that when the leaves and roots are incorporated directly into the soil they add nitrogen, other nutrients and organic matter. Farmers can then grow another crop in the improved soil the following year (e.g. maize) and eat the edible grain legume. Subsequently it is hoped that this will lead to an increased food productivity which will in turn enhance food availability within households of resource-poor farmers, which is part of what defines house hold food security.