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Kusamala Monthly Newsletter
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Our Vision For all Malawian communities to have the ability and knowledge to creatively pursue their own path towards achieving food security and diversity, economic stability, and productive healthy environments.

Our Mission To demonstrate and advocate for low-input, income generating permaculture and agroecology systems; to extend these systems into local communities through education and outreach; and to research and evaluate their potential to improve Malawian livelihoods. To create a Malawian-run organization that is committed to improving organizational effectiveness through internal career development and specialized training that builds leaders in communities, policy, and government
August  was another successful month for Kusamala as we concluded one of our Permaculture consultancies. For a year we worked with the United Methodist Church (UMC). We helped with designing and implementing a permaculture farm on 5 hectares of land. They are now able to grow and manage 29 crops for soil improvement, pest control, consumption and sale. The proceeds from the sale of produce are used for paying salaries of people working on the farm and the church pastors.   

ACB regional conference

Kusamala participated in African Center for Biodiversity's (ACB) regional conference held on the 16th-19th August at the Blue Waters Hotel in Durban, South Africa. This conference brought in participants from the Southern African region - including farmers, representative of farmer organizations, civil society organization and individual proponents of agroecology. In this meeting, participants shared experiences, challenges, and opportunities for advancing the agroecology agenda in the region. Discussions were on farm input subsidy programs and the promotion of synthetic fertilizers, harmonization of key seed laws and policies, shift from industrial agriculture to diversified ago-ecological systems, farmers saved seed systems, soil fertility alternatives, building farmer driven movement for food sovereignty and civil society response to identified priorities. One of the key lessons for Kusamala included the need to intensify research to quantify inputs for alternatives to synthetic fertilizers in order to help drive the shift from conventional agriculture to diversified ago-ecological systems.

Kusamala was represented by the Executive Director (Rose Bell) and the Programs Manager (Chisomo Kamchacha) who shared our experiences on 
soil fertility management in Dowa district. Of interest was the farmer’s methods of determining soil fertility using physical properties in addition to the laboratory tests  and the fact that farmer perceptions of soil fertility as a limiting factor to production changed following training and implementation.

Internship at Kusamala

As part of their learning process, we received six students from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) who are pursuing their Degree Program in Agriculture and Horticulture (Mike Malemia, Gloria Kunyenge, Precious Chikhawo, Tamandani Mchulu, Lucy Gutsu and Madalitso Matope).In order to satisfy the university requirements for partial fulfillment of their degree program, the students are required  to undergo a four weeks internship program to acquire practical knowledge and skills.The students have learnt about permaculture principles and ethics and have been involved in designing and establishing a  permaculture garden.

Introduction to Permaculture 

We hosted a one day Introduction to Permaculture training for three Italian Volunteers who came to Malawi under Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (AYISE). The Volunteers will be in Malawi for a month teaching families from Nkhamenya and Tangatanga villages in Kasungu permaculture practices and principles in accordance to what they learnt from Kusamala. After the training, we helped them design one site and develop an action plan for the whole month which will be implemented upon arrival in the villages.

Practicals included compost making, liquid manure production and application, planting vegetables using the permaculture guild system, and also demonstrated how to plant fruit trees. They also learnt how to cook Malawian local foods like okra and Moringa leaves. Photos are available 
here.  

Resuming organic veg-boxes 

Kusamala is pleased to announce that it has resumed its Organic Veg-Box program in the month of August. The baskets are delivered every Friday morning at two strategic points in town (Four seasons and Bowers). Some of our Organic Vegetables on offer include: fennel, dill, lettuce, radish, beetroot, coriander, baby carrots and many other organically grown herbs and spices. Ad-on include free range eggs at MK150 each and 250g of honey at MK3, 000 per bottle. 

To subscribe to the program, email; vegbox@kusamala.org
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