Total Land Care (TLC) has secured £600 000 (K607 million) to implement a two-year Nyika-Vwaza Community Livelihood Support Project to help surrounding communities produce high value commodities and improve entrepreneurship skills.
TLC believes that with strengthened markets, people from areas surrounding Nyika National Park and Vwaza Wildlife Reserve will earn more money to stop them from putting pressure on biodiversity.
The project, a component of the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area Programme, is funded by Germany’s KfW, which also funded a similar project between 2018 and early 2021.
Speaking to stakeholders in Rumphi on Tuesday, TLC managing director Zwide Jere said they will, among others, strengthen capacity of 30 natural resources committees (NRCs) in Karonga, Rumphi and Mzimba.
He said the NRCs will implement by-laws against destructive farming and land use practices.
Jere also said they will increase household food security, nutrition and incomes through climate smart technologies.
He said: “We would want to see increased local multiplication of improved seed targeting soya beans, groundnuts and vines as well as improved market access for farmer groups.
“When it is fully implemented, we expect an increase in average household annual real income by 30 percent, another 20 percent increase in the number of households consuming a diet of six food groups and that households with energy food reserves in critical months would increase by 15 percent.”
Nyika-Vwaza Association chairperson Inkosi Mpherembe of Mzimba has since hailed the project.
On his part, Karonga district labour officer Peck Chawinga said people in the district will benefit in bee-keeping and rearing animals on small and large-scale.
The project targets 6 500 households from rural communities within five-kilometre range from the boundary around Nyika National Park and Vwaza Wildlife Reserve.