Edna Ndalama is a dedicated and energetic smallholder farmer in Malawi’s Machinga district, where she grows and processes maize (corn) into nsima, the country’s staple carbohydrate.
Over the past decade, however, Ndalama has watched her farm’s production decline. In years with good rainfall, the 42-year-old mother of three produces enough maize to last her family only eight to nine months. In drought years, maize production sometimes lasts less than five months—a scary prospect for a family with growing children.
In Machinga and other districts in Malawi, land shortages limit many farms to a half acre or less. Fa
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