New York Times columnist Nick Kristof writes about a program helping farmers diversify crops in Malawi that is part of a CRS-led venture called WALA, which means “to shine” in Chichewa, an indigenous language.
The USAID-funded program helps these farmers plant crops that thrive even when the rains fail, something that happens all-too-often in this part of Malawi. The chilies that the farmers plant instead of corn are sold in order to buy food.
In his oped piece, Kristof wrote:
“ ‘Other crops wither, and the chilies survive,’ [ farmer Jonas] Kabudula told me. What’s more, each bag of chilies is worth about five bags of corn, so he and other villagers have been able to sell the chilies and buy all the food they need.
‘If it weren’t for the chilies,’ said another farmer, Staford Phereni, ‘we would have no food.’”