Posted by: r.m. | December 18, 2008

the whole > the sum of its parts

“In response to increased flooding and food insecurity, women in Salima, Malawi are boosting agricultural productivity by sharing resources and knowledge through local farmers’ clubs.

Climate change has had such a huge impact on agriculture and on women’s rights…In community after community, houses and belongings are ruined, crops are washed away, and livestock die. Because there are fewer or no crops to sell at market, families have to buy more food and thus have less money. With less money, children can’t go to school, more women enter into sex work, and girls as young as 13 are sold into marriage.

But with the little resources they have, the women cope the best they can. Every month, three representatives from each farmers club in Salima meet at SAWEG to discuss successes and challenges in their crop production, new agricultural methods, and other issues that affect their lives.

Loss of food and income due to failing harvests was one of the major challenges. Because women were no longer able to grow enough food to feed their families with their individual gardens, the farmers’ clubs decided it would be better to pool resources into community (club) gardens. Garden club members share tools, seeds, and knowledge of diverse farming methods, such as the use and application of compost manure. This has led to increased production, and club members each take home more food than they did with just their individual gardens.”



  1. i know this isn’t catagorized under ecology but i couldn’t help but read it.I have never heard of farmers club. It’s very inspiring to see people,especially women working together and keeping communities from falling apart under the claws of climate change.This is a poor country adapting to the changes and fighting for what’s right and for what they believe in. How come the richer countries can’t do that?Why can’t that help the other southern countries adapt?

  2. You’re right! I just added it to ecology category!

    The importance of this article isn’t so much what the rich countries aren’t doing – but more so – what communities can do when they work together


  3. While rich countries are failing to meet together and discuss climate change as it should be discussed, poor countries are facing climate change challenges by collective work… How silly is the world, rich people with university knowledge cant collectively think and act against climate change, while poor uneducated women can do this!!!
    By sharing their limited resources and knowledge, and working as one team with one goal, these women were able to succeed facing the loss of food and income!
    We definetly encourage them, and hope for the “other part of the world” to learn from their cooperation…May be then, we can say that the earth might be saved!

  4. Sharing tools,seeds, knowledge has led to increased production.The lesson that one could learn from this is that working together increase the chance of survival.Why then people dont work collectively to increase their shared ressources?It is simply because hauman nature is selfish.

  5. 1+1=3
    The union of talents is worth more than their simple sum and the fusion of different principles gives birth to something different, new and better.
    In fact, this simple equation is at the base of human societies where parents believe that their children are better than themselves. We, as humans, hold hope in our future because we firmly believe in progress and that tomorrow’s man is going to be better than today’s.

  6. this is a clear example illustrating that group work is better than individual work. we must learn from this experience that change can be done in any field. what is needed is the faith in our capacities and abilities to face the problems and succeed.
    In my opinion, creating social knowledge as introduction to create pressure on policymakers through group and community work is the best way to avoid devastating effects of climate change.

  7. This example should be ideal to all farmers and workers who cannot make it on their own. This synergistic effect between farmers thriugh exchanging tools and seeds can be a perfect example of what future undermined societies can do in order to make things work.

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