Malawi’s agricultural sector has suffered severe devastation due to Cyclone Freddy. Smallholder farmers, who are already struggling to make ends meet due to the inflation in food prices and the worst cholera epidemic in decades, are among the hardest hit by the storm.
The devastation wrought by Cyclone Freddy on Malawi’s economy and the agriculture sector is beyond imagination, FoodForAfrika.com reports. What’s worse, in just four days, the cyclone claimed the lives of more than 300 Malawians and displaced over 180 000 others.
According to the One Acre Fund, an agricultural service provider that supports Africa’s smallholder farmers, farmers were in the midst of preparing their fields for April harvesting when the cyclone struck. This left their crops and soil severely damaged.
Khadijah, a farmer who was still recovering from the damage caused by Cyclone Ana, described the impact of the storm in a report by One Acre Fund: “I had just started planting when the cyclone came. All my crops were destroyed, and my fields were washed away. I don’t know how I will survive this year.”
Call for funding
According to FoodForAfrika.com, the cyclone also comes at a time when Malawi is facing several other crises, including inflation in food prices and the worst cholera epidemic in decades.
The country has experienced five major extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, over the past seven years, highlighting the urgent need for climate adaptation measures and support for affected communities.
One Acre Fund is now seeking $1 million in new funds to provide support to the country.
It plans to carry out measurements and evaluations to assess the extent of the damage to farms and livelihoods, inform an effective response strategy, and potentially distribute drying tarps to prevent the rotting of flooded harvests.
It will also provide inputs later in the year to enable farmers to replant crops and restore damaged infrastructure such as bridges.
This article was first published on www.foodforafrika.com.
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