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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Growing a better future

Growing a better future

by Oxfam | April 7, 2017

What does hunger have to do with climate change? A lot. Wild weather and unpredictable seasons are changing what farmers can grow. Food prices are going up. Food quality is going down. Soon, climate change will affect what all of us can eat. In Malawi, its impacts are already lethal.

As temperatures rise, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe. Farmers are struggling to cope. And nearly a billion of the world’s poorest people – people who have contributed  the least to climate change – are finding it even harder to feed their families.

Women like Patouma are often the hardest hit, as they are left to tend small farms and families, and have fewer alternative livelihoods when crops are lost.

“In a good year, when the rains are good, I can sometimes harvest up to 15 bags of maize. Last year, I planted my crops as usual but due to the drastic change of climate and very little rain, I only managed to harvest one bag.That only lasted one month. My family and I had never before been as hungry as we were then.” – Patouma

Oxfam and our partners in Malawi have been helping Patouma and other farmers to grow vegetables in small kitchen gardens. They are able to use some of the vegetables to feed their families and also create vital income for themselves by selling the rest.

Patouma explains: “Now, with this vegetable farming, I am able to sell vegetables and with the proceeds I can buy some food to feed my children. I am able to eat every day, which I wasn’t able to do before. I am also able to buy soap and my children can wear clean clothes. I can even buy school text-books and pencils. This kind of farming has really helped my family.

For a woman like Patouma, your donation helps:

  • Distribute seeds and fertilizers to families to help them grow sustainable crops;
  • Install solar power pumps to help farmers irrigate their crops – getting the maximum benefit out of every drop of water;
  • Re-design fields so farmers can trap what little moisture exists in the soil;
  • Build women’s leadership to help women and girls enjoy lives free from violence so they can be active leaders in their society.

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