A New Farm in Malawi—A Future of Feeding

10/01/07

Last week, Tom Mambo (Malawi Country Director) and the board of trustees visited Nchi Chere Farm (pronounced chee-CHAIR-ee), a 350-acre farm COTN has the opportunity to purchase. The Malawi Board of Directors recently approved the purchase and COTN President Chris Clark will visit Malawi later this month to give final approval. Pray that the property is all we anticipate it to be and that it will be approved.

Nchi Chere 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.

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 Nchi Chere 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 for the farm is $250,000. A generous COTN supporter has pledged a $120,000 matching grant. Pray that we receive donations to match this pledge so we will benefit from the full amount of the pledged grant. If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, please visit the Donation Page page on our website.