Malawi’s crops, under attack

Morgana and Emily were recently in Malawi where they observed firsthand the progress being made by farmers in Malawi– and the challenges. You can read Emily’s first post here.

Rosette ravishes crops like peanuts or “groundnuts” as they’re called in Malawi like the plague – its proliferating brown spots spread indiscriminately from plant to plant disregarding property lines. Every year Malawian farmers lose 21% of groundnut crops to this deadly pestilence – or approximately $9 million. In weeks a year’s investment rots under the scourge of these fatal marks.

To rescue these and other crops, the Chitedze Research Station (funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) is researching and developing new seed varieties that will be resistant to drought and disease. Investments in agriculture research and development averages a 43% return on investment and growth in agriculture is twice as effective at reducing poverty as growth in other economic sectors.

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