Food Security

FOOD SECURITY

BACKGROUND

Save Orphans Ministries incorporated the food security department into its programs in 2002. The driving force behind this development was the needs of the people of Songa, Mangochi which in one way or the other were not being met through Government's efforts especially in the area of food security. The department has a target group of about 30 villages in Songa impact area. The department aims at empowering the local community, with orphans and caregivers with the necessary knowledge, skill and resources. These skills in turn helps them to produce, process, store, market and utilize what they produce from the fields in order to improve their livelihoods. In addition, the department embarks on emergency interventions such as distribution of food aid and relief food programs in the area.

INTERVENTION AREAS

Livestock improvement
  • Introduction of exotic breeds of goats to crossbreed with the local ones
  • Introduction of dairy goat breeds
  • Distribution of local female goats to crossbreed with the exotic ones  
Horticulture
  • Horticultural training and distribution of inputs 

Irrigation farming

  • Training and distribution of treadle pumps and inputs
  • Yearly irrigation schemes

 Agro-Forestry

  • Training and provision of inputs- tree seedlings, fruit tree distribution 

Relief Food Distribution

  • Distribution of relief food during drought and crop failure seasons
  • Food aid Distribution
  • Pro-active distribution of food aid to the needy 

Community Food Bank

  •  Purchase and storage of grains within the area 

Extension Services

  • Introduction of new farming technologies and general farming advice through farmer clubs and farming blocks 

Community Seed Bank

  • Securing and distributing seeds to the community on time  

Moringa production

  • Training and distributing Moringa planting materials 
Organic Farming
  •  Advocating and training farmers in organic and conservation farming 
 ACCOMPLISHMENTS
  • 198 farmers trained in Goat management and 142 goats (local and exotic) distributed in the area
  • Over 100 farmers trained in irrigation farming and practicing irrigation; 10 treadle pumps distributed
  • Over 500 trees of Moringa growing in Songa community
  • More roads constructed through food for work programs
  • Over 1000 trees planted in the area
  • Over 2000 households benefited from 2005 relief distribution
  • About 3000 (50kgs) bags of maize bought and stored in Songa under community food bank project
  • Four Farmers clubs and six farming blocks established in the area for extension services
  • Organic farmers clubs formed in the area
  • Diversified crop production as a result of food aid programs
 SUCCESS STORY

Mr. A. Tamani is one of the leading livestock farmers and the chairman of Tiyamike Organic Farmers club in Songa. Before SOM implemented the livestock improvement project in Songa, he had 2 small sized local goats, which could not fetch a lot of money when offered on the market. Again, he did not realize good quantity of manure with which to grow his vegetables as an organic farmer. However, when SOM came in with the livestock improvement project, he received one dairy goat breed and one beef breed. When these exotic breeds cross-bred with the local ones, the off-springs improved in meat, manure and milk production, thereby fetching a lot of money on the market. Since the dairy goat is giving him more milk, he is now thinking of learning how to process it and then sell the products to the community. In addition, since he has now ten goats, the quantity of manure realized from the pen has also increased from 0.2 tones to 1 tone per year. His life has changed and is so grateful to SOM for being part of the change in his life and entire family.

PROJECT PLANS

SOM, through the food security department, intends to reach about 30,000 by 2010.This intention will be achieved through the following plans:

  • Start up food security projects in Tsangano, Ntcheu this year - 2006
  • Increase Songa’s irrigated land from less than 5 hectares to more than 20 hectares along KabudiraRiver
  • Form a horticultural association through clubs doing irrigation in Songa
  • Introduce bee farming in Songa next year
  • Increase livestock population in Songa
  • Increase area under Moringa production in Songa and start processing it
  • Utilize SOM’s farms in Mangochi
  • Increase soil fertility improvement interventions in Songa and Tsangano
  • Improve Irish potato production in Tsangano
  • Introduce Organic Farming in Tsangano
  • Empower over 80% of farmers in Songa and Tsangano with knowledge in farming technologies
  • Introduce dairy goats in Tsangano
  • Increase water and soil conservation knowledge in Songa and Tsangano
  • Ensure that over 90% of households have backyard gardens
  • Provide a produce market for farmers in both Songa and Tsangano
  • Improve community food banking
  • Construct a warehouse in Songa to act as a depot for food security interventions
  • Introduce herbal plants garden in Tsangano