“Kitchen garden project” is one of the biggest programs that Action for sustainable development (ASUD) based in Mzuzu is promoting since more than four years. This project includes several training sessions and assistance from the ASUD team. The different trainings follow a will to promote local agriculture and without chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides. This agriculture includes three types of plants. First, local vegetables for consumption with a high content of nutrients and minerals such as sweet potatoes, beans, eggplants.  The second category of cultivated plants includes plants that will be used as natural pesticides such as onions, sunflowers or garlic. Finally, the third category is made up of medicinal plants such as ginger, aloe Vera or lemongrass.

In the village of Nyambose, where Georgina Gama lives with several other women ASUD helped for the construction of three gardens in 2018 near to a water point about 50 meters far from the houses of the women. Through previous experiences, ASUD has seen the effectiveness of building gardens at a distance from the family home but closer to a water point due to many dry periods that can endanger the garden. The organization subsequently carried out trainings about which vegetables must be planted, how to do mulches for keeping the soil moist during dry seasons, how to do organic manure made of chicken soup and how to spread it with water cans as a natural fertilizer.  The aim of ASUD is also to explain the danger of chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers on the health but also in terms of sustainability of the soil.

When ASUD comes to help us or show us new techniques, we are used to sing and dance to thank them. It is every time a pleasure to see them and to learn from them. Thanks to this garden I am now able to feed my family with various products with many nutrients. I am also able to treat many ailments with medicinal plants. But that’s not all, today a woman from the village asked me if I had “belekete” (Amaranthus) and I could sell some to her. So, I am even able to make a profit from my garden.” Georgina Gama

Mynalah Kaonga, field officer from the ASUD team explaining how to realize organic fertilizer with manure from chicken soup and how to spread it on the garden.

Continuous monitoring and regular renewal of training by ASUD, combined with the determination of Georgina and the women in her group to maintain this garden, make it a success in terms of food security and economic development for the rural communities.

Written by Julie George from ASUD.