5 Facts About Maize in Malawi

Photo of corn by Marc Verch

Fresh green corn, enjoyed in an open field under the Malawian sun. Fluffy nsima, spooned onto plates. A well fed family. The energy to work. Maize is ingrained into Malawi’s agricultural, economic, and family life. Here are 5 facts you should know about maize in Malawi:

  1. Maize is the major staple food crop in Malawi. 60% of the total cropped land is devoted to its production.

  2. Malawi’s food security depends on maize. If the land yields a poor maize harvest, people will suffer. Think: famine. Think: hunger. Think: how will we feed our children?

  3. Maize provides jobs. While most Malawian families grow their own maize, they often have to buy more from the market. Because of this, maize accounts for about 25% of agricultural employment. In other words, maize is is an income generating crop.

  4. There are 29 varieties of maize in Malawi. They grow in all different colors and lengths. Orant’s Field Day Demonstration leads farmers through planting different maize seed varieties. Farmers learn which varieties are drought resistant, which can be planted earlier than others, and which mature faster than others. This knowledge allows them to be more strategic with their planting choices.

  5. If maize is the only available food for a family, their diet is poorly diversified. As a result, their overall health suffers. In Malawi, this is too often the case. Orant’s irrigation clubs encourage farmers to diversify their crop production. In turn, vegetables like tomatoes and peanuts improve local diets.

To learn more about Orant’s Agriculture & Business Programs, visit here

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