Help Us Purchase a Farm in Malawi

07/13/07

Last month, Tom Mambo (Malawi’s Acting Deputy Country Director), the board of trustees, and COTN President Chris Clark visited Chichere Farm (pronounced chee-CHAIR-ee), a 350-acre farm COTN has been given the opportunity to purchase.

Chichere Farm is a working farm located just outside the town of Machenji. It is nestled at the base of a mountain and is enclosed by a river, which provides year-round water, a luxury in drought-ridden Malawi. Besides eighty acres ready for crops, there are hundreds of acres of natural pasture and forestland perfect for grazing livestock. The farm includes an irrigation system, nine barns, staff and guest housing, a school, and farm machinery. It also includes four fish ponds.

As part of the purchase agreement, the current farm manager has agreed to stay on for one year. He is experienced in farm planning and production and will work with COTN-­MA to develop a strategic farming plan. Our prayer is that the crops and livestock the farm produces will not only produce enough food to completely sustain the children in all our programs in Malawi, but will also produce a sustainable income for COTN-­MA.

Every year we feed thousands of children besides those in our programs, and every year there are more people than there is food. It is our hope that this farm might help fill the gap and at the same time create an income to alleviate total dependence on COTN supporters for Malawi’s feeding programs and allow us to redistribute funds to reach more kids!

Crops will include maize (corn), potatoes, oranges, tangerines, bananas, and general garden space for other fruits and vegetables. A portion of the farm will be utilized as a nursery to plant and raise trees for resale. Livestock will include goats and cattle. Fish, currently being bred and raised at our Chitipi Farm, will be transferred to this location. If all goes as planned, Chitipi Farm will focus on breeding, and fish will be transferred and raised at Chichere Farm in the four fish ponds.

While the opportunity to purchase the farm is an incredible blessing to COTN, it comes with a price tag. The total purchase price and first-year operating cost for the farm is $250,000. A generous COTN supporter has pledged a $120,000 matching grant. Join us in our efforts to fully match this pledge. To date, $32,000 had been received‹only $98,000 to go!! If everyone who reads this gives at least $50, we can make our match. Literally thousands will benefit from this farm!

Click here to donate