Friday, 27 April 2007

Some better news from Malawi

Two reports from IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks - part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and both have better news for Malawi

The first tells of a record maize harvest this year, which appears to be the result of the government subsidising the price of fertilizer by about 75%. This subsidy helps enormously except of course for the very poorest subsistence farmers. There are calls to provide fee fertilizer for this group, who often are looking after orphans as well as their own families. And no matter what the subsidy, lack of rain has caused a failing harvest in the Karonga district. There they need irrigation equipment.

The second report is about progress of fish farming in the southern countries of Africa which could be a good source of income and food. However most initiatives are hampered by lack of funds, skills and equipment. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation, nearly half the fish eaten worldwide is farmed. As stocks of wild fish decline, there will be greater and greater demand for farmed fish.

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