Mother of six, Patouma Alisen is a farmer in Liundi village, Balaka district, Malawi.
Up until recently, Patouma relied on growing maize on a one- acre plot of land to feed her family. However, climate change is now impacting the ability of farmer's like Patouma to provide for their families.“In a good year, when the rains are good, I can sometimes harvest up to 15 bags. Last year, I planted my crops as usual but due to the drastic change of climate and very little rain, I only managed to harvest one bag of maize. That only lasted one month. My family and I had never before been as hungry as we were then. We had never experienced hunger before.”
The devastating drought in Malawi has left 6.5 million people (40% of the population) facing severe food insecurity. Oxfam and our partners in Malawi have been helping Patouma and other farmers grow vegetables in small kitchen gardens. They are able to use some of the vegetables to feed their families and also create vital income for themselves by selling the rest.“Now, with this vegetable farming, I am able to sell vegetables and with the proceeds I can buy some food to feed my children. I am able to eat every day, which I wasn’t able to do before. I am also able to buy soap and my children can wear clean clothes. I can even buy school text-books and pencils. This kind of farming has really helped my family.”