In the book Poor Economics, the authors explore the idea of the poverty trap and how it affects people across the world. In this blog, we review Poor Economics and its lessons on how to break the cycle of poverty.
The Orant Farm Project
Dumase Mtengowamingo’s Story
Here’s some context.
Malawi’s economy is largely dependent on agriculture. However, in an era of rising costs of farm inputs, agriculture is costly. The price of land itself is an insurmountable barrier. Smallholder farmers must put forth every effort to assure their daily bread making.
Last year, we introduced the Orant Farm Project.
During the 2021/ 2022 farming season, Orant distributed 20 acres of our farmland to Kasese farmers. We split the 20 acres between 10 households. 60% of the land went to women. 40% to men. We gave land to farmers who didn’t have access to their own but were eager to farm for income generation.
Of the recipients of farmland was Dumase.
Aged 31, Dumase is married with 2 kids. She has been a smallholder for 12 years. However, nothing tangible emerged from her 2 acre rented field, despite long days of toil. She planted low-quality, uncertified seeds. And she lacked knowledge of best farming practices.
"The best I could harvest was 5 bags,” says Dumase. “Which was a loss considering the high costs of farm inputs”
Now Dumase is all smiles. She harvested 744 kilograms of soybeans and realized high profits. After paying her loan back to Orant, she still had 430,000 MWK.
Orant provided farmers with no interest microloans in the form of farm inputs. In addition, we assisted farmers in finding good markets for their produce.
From the proceeds she has made, Dumase has managed to buy:
- A goat
- 8 bags of maize to feed her household
- Clothes and other home necessities
- Fertilizer for next farming season
She has also rented a 2 acre field. We are so excited to see her success!
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