The project has experienced rapid and successful growth over the past seven years. During that period, the same basic principles were constantly used. Based on the goals that have now been achieved, the project must be taken to the next phase.
The own capacity that has been built up in recent years must be further organized and professionalized. Towards complete independence. This makes Food For Life one of the few projects in the world that successfully complete the route to full independence. To achieve the desired result from the current situation, one more step has to be taken. That step is called “Mansholt”.
The Art of Charity Foundation wants to introduce Minister Mansholt’s unique idea to Malawi. The farmers who will leave the learning support system after three years are allowed to use the Food For Life Mansholt system.
They receive a guaranteed price for the maize that participants grow according to the FFF principle – in which they do not use artificial fertilizer, but rather enriched compost. That price is set annually at an amount that is attractive to these farmers. In 2021, that amount will be 120 mkw per kilo.
The harvest must be delivered in a new type of bag of 50 kg. These Pics bags have the advantage that the corn does not dry out and has a much longer shelf life. This prevents more than 10% of the yield from being lost through drying out. Moreover, no chemicals need to be used to protect the crop against pests. Despite chemicals, a significant percentage is still lost. The estimate is 10% of the proceeds. The pics bags do not cost the usual 250 mkw, but 850 mkw. The difference in costs is covered by the prevention of losses due to dehydration and vermin.
Payment of the amount of 120 mkw per kilo takes place in two stages. When the harvest is delivered (in April / May), the farmers receive 60 mkw. This gives them the money to take care of their family from harvest to planting season. The second payment follows six months after the first delivery. With that they can buy their new seeds and fertilizers and they have money to take care of their families until there is another harvest. That harvest is certain with the FFF method, provided that the farmers make an effort themselves. In the past seven years we have not had a crop failure in any place in Malawi where participants apply the system properly. In this way, the farmers will be helped enormously and be delivered from the blind spot of permanent poverty.
In order to properly finance this system, we will start with a trial in four areas in the coming season 2020/2021. A pilot will be set up in each area. In total, we want to have 400 farmers participate, whereby the maximum supply per participant will be determined on the delivery of 50 bags of 50 kg.
The next season, the proceeds can be used for the purchase in that next year, etc. This puts these pilot farmers in a circle that finances themselves and contributes to the costs of the organization. In addition, it gives farmers a much better and more stable existence.
To ensure that the Mansholt system runs smoothly and the learning system that preceded it works better, the chairman of the Charity Foundation is considering traveling to Malawi for a few months with his wife. This is only possible if sufficient funding can be found outside the current base income of the showroom.