Sustainable Land Management (SAMALA), 2022 to 2027

Land degradation remains a serious challenge across Malawi. Studies have revealed loss of topsoil averaging 29 tons ha-1 per annum with up to 100 tons ha-1 on steep hillsides. An analysis of soil erosion rates in selected EPAs in Mzimba and Kasungu indicated soil erosion rates ranging from 1.07 to 10.0 tonnes/ha/year. Forests are also experiencing high deforestation rate estimated at 2.8% representing an annual average loss of 250,000 ha of forest cover. The effects are reflected in declining crop yields, food and nutrition insecurity, low household incomes, poor access to clean water, and reduced energy security among others.

SAMALA, a project funded by Irish Aid and Government of Flanders with a total funding of $4.7 million from 2022 to 2027 will be implemented in a consortium of led by Total LandCare in partnership with Youth Net and Counselling (YONECO) and The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). The consortium will implement interventions on sustainable land management to address land degradation in Mzimba, Kasungu, Ntchisi and Dowa districts.

The overall objective of the project is to support the Malawi government to address land degradation.The central objective is to contribute to the restoration of degraded landscapes to support sustainable livelihoods in selected EPAs in Mzimba and Kasungu (Luwerezi and Khosolo EPAs in Mzimba, and Chulu EPA in Kasungu. The project will focus on: 1) Improving catchment management with sustained land productivity, 2) Strengthening community governance structures and local institutions, and increasing knowledge on existing regulatory frameworks for sustainable management of landscapes, 3) Diversification and strengthening of livelihoods, and 4). The project expects to achieve the following key resusts at the end of the 5 year implementation period:


The Agriculture Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp II), 2021 to 2022

The Ministry of Agriculture is implementing the Second Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Support Project (ASWAP-SP II) that was declared effective on 13th April 2018 and will close on 31st December 2022. The ASWAp-SP II is a follow up to ASWAp-SP I which was successfully implemented between 2014 and 2016. The project is targeting 300,000 rural households in the 12 districts, namely: Chitipa, Mzimba, Kasungu, Mchinji, Ntchisi, Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Zomba, Phalombe, Mulanje and Thyolo. The project structure has four components, which are aligned to the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) namely sustainable agricultural productivity and diversification; improvement of rural road infrastructure for market access; institutional capacity development for NAIP and project coordination and management

A joint World Bank and Government of Malawi team undertook the Mid-Term Review (MTR) for the ASWAp-SP Il from January 27 to February 14, 2020. Despite registering successes, the MTR noted challenges with the implementation, especially as regards the scale of the impacts on the ground. Specifically, the team noted that there were several challenges to scaling up especially Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) activities and to achieving the set results under the project. Importantly, CSA practices promoted were applied in isolation and not as a package, thus having less than optimal effects.

In view of the challenges noted, the MTR team recommended to create partnerships with other actors to rapidly scale up the adoption of CSA practices using an integrated catchment management approach. Through the Malawi Climate Smart Alliance, the Ministry of Agriculture selected Total LandCare and Find Your Feet to implement and scale up CSA practices in four of the twelve priority districts of Lilongwe, Ntcheu and Kasungu in Central Region and Mzimba in Northern Region. TLC was assigned Lilongwe and Ntcheu districts to cover a total of four catchments which were selected by the respective District Agriculture Offices. Total funding to TLC is $200,000.

The goal of the project is to contribute towards improving the productivity, production, and profitability of selected commodities for small-holder farmers in the 12 targeted districts of Malawi. The goal is in line with the Project Development Objective of Aswap – SP II which is stated as “to improve the productivity and market access of selected commodities for small-holder farmers in the 12 targeted districts of Malawi”.

The project goal will be achieved through one outcome which is increased adoption of climate smart agriculture technologies and practices. The outcome will the realized through three interlinked outputs namely: 1.1 Rural communities have participatory watershed management plans, 1.2 Knowledge and skills of farmers and frontline extension staff on climate smart agriculture practices enhanced and 1.3 Households practicing climate smart agriculture technologies increased.


Transforming Landscapes for Resilience and Development (TRALARD), 2021 to 2023

Zambia has been implementing the World Bank supported Zambia Strengthening Climate Resilience (PPCR II) Project since 2013 aimed at strengthening Zambia’s institutional framework for climate resilience. The project implemented in the Barotse and Kafue Sub-Basins improves the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities. Investments supported by PPCR include participatory adaptation, climate-resilient infrastructure and strategic program support in agriculture, water, livestock, fisheries, natural resources and climate information services. The Project further strengthens the national institutional framework for climate resilience and improves the adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities. The PPCR has worked with local structures and implementation partners to improve and mainstream climate risk into livelihood option decisions, local development planning, and implementation capacity and has gained experience in implementing micro-projects in the intervention areas. This experience informs the design of TRALARD, which builds on the lessons learnt from the successful PPCR implementation in Western, part of Southern, Lusaka and Central provinces of Zambia. TRALARD on the other hand is a 5-years (2019-2024) project with a focus on Northern Region of Zambia.

Funded by the World Bank with a total funding of US$ 930,329.98 from 2021 to 2023. TLC is implementing the project with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment as lead. The project covers Chama, Isoka, Kanchibiya, Lavushimanda, Mafinga and Mpika districts of Muchinga province, Zambia.

The goal is to secure the long term conservation and biodiversity of the LPNP.

The project objective is to Improve natural resource management in selected districts to support sustainable livelihoods and in the event of an eligible crisis or emergency, to provide immediate and effective response to the eligible crisis or emergency

Promoting Diversified, Resilient, Sustainable Livelihoods; and
Management of Community Forests and Protected Areas.
Key results so far:
    ⇒ A total of 229 proposals were formulated with 126 approved.
    ⇒ 8 Enterprise Based Proposals were formulated.
    ⇒ 1,000 hectares were covered under CA.
    ⇒ 34,983 farmers were trained in CA activities.
    ⇒ 10,985 were trained in VSL methodology with membership.

Global Soil week (GSW), 2021 to 2023

In 2019, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) passed its landmark land tenure decision (Decision 26/COP.14). The decision calls upon states to follow the principles of the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure in implementing activities to combat desertification/land degradation and drought and achieve land degradation neutrality. The decision also calls for recognition of legitimate tenure rights, including customary rights, consistent with national legal frameworks. While many countries have drafted national Land Degradation Neutrality Target Setting Programmes (LDN TSP), they are yet to introduce national level actions that reconcile communities’ tenure rights with LDN measures.

TMG Research’s Global Soil Week (GSW) project seeks to identify how LDN measures can promote responsible land governance, with a focus on tenure security for smallholder farmers and other marginalized natural resource users.

In Phase 1 of the project, TMG Research partnered with Total LandCare (TLC) to collect and analyze data from a household survey of communities living adjacent to Ntchisi Forest and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, and a community-led mapping exercise conducted for select forest blocks within Ntchisi Forest to identify the impacts LDN measures have on the communities’ forest tenure rights.

Phase 2 of the project is focusing on the bua catchment. So far total funding of the project is $100,000.

Sustainable Food Systems for Rural Agriculture Transformation and Resilience (TRANSFORM), 2021 to 2025

Programme intending to target 150,000 agriculture-dependent rural households over a period of 3 years and 6 months (2021 – 2025) within 22 EPAs in the 5 districts of; Dowa, Mchinji, Kasungu, Mzimba and Rumphi. The programme is coordinated by three Norwegian organizations namely the Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), the Development Fund of Norway (DF), and Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The goal of the programme is to contribute to sustainable agricultural transformation that will result in significant growth of the agricultural sector in Malawi. The overall objective is to strengthen local food systems and demonstrate a sustainable improvement of food and nutrition security, income, and resilience to climate change among 150,000 agriculture dependent rural households within selected EPAs in 5 districts of Malawi by 2025.

As in other parts of the world, Malawians, especially rural people in general and smallholder farmers, continue to experience and struggle with the negative impact of climate change, persistent poverty, food and nutrition insecurity; lack of employment and environmental degradation. As of January 2019, Malawi scored on 4.81 out of 10 on the African Agriculture Transformation Scorecard2 (AATS) against the 2019 benchmark of 6.66 out of 10. The proposed programme is developed under the premise of ‘transforming the food and agricultural system’. This programme embraces a holistic approach to sustainable food systems to address the many challenges that face the agricultural sector in Malawi. To achieve this transformation, the proposed programme integrates and consolidates the diverse skills, experiences and lessons from past initiatives of the Development Fund of Norway (DF), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and the Norwegian University for Life Sciences (NMBU) based on a long history of implementing successful climate change resilience, research and innovation, agricultural and natural resource programmes in Malawi and within the region.

TLC is implementing the project in Kasungu, Mchinji and Mzimba south targeting 80,000 households. Total funding for TLC is $3.85 million.

Akule ndi Thanzi (Let them Grow Healthy), 2022 to 2027

Akule ndi Thanzi is a five year USAID funded project awarded to Feed the Children and alliance partners with a total value of $46 Million. The implementation of the Akule ndi Thanzi project started in June of 2022 and it is being implemented through a consortium of for-profit corporations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and USAID. Each of the Implementing Partners has extensive experience in Malawi with each contributing specific technical expertise to the comprehensive services provided by the project. The partners include; Feed The Children, Inc., Malawi Office (FEED) (Prime), SAFI (Sub), and Total Land Care (TLC) (Sub). Akule ndi Thanzi also enjoys a healthy partnership with private sector partners and these are NuSkin, Inc. and Proctor and Gamble.

The goal of the project is to improve the nutritional outcomes and well-being of children under five years of age pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescents by 2027. The goal will be realized through two Key Result Areas namely; Nutrition & health- Improved nutrition & health of children under five years of age, PLW, adolescents by June 2027 and WASH- Improved access to safe water and adoption of improved sanitation by households with pregnant women and children under five years (5) of age by 2027. The project is targeting 235,045 households in care groups and the primary beneficiaries of the project are children under five years of age with emphasis on the first 1000 days, pregnant and lactating women, mothers of children under two and adolescent girls and boys.

TLC is implementing the project in Chitipa, Karonga, Nkhotakota, Salima, Dowa, Lilongwe districts of Malawi with a total funding of $2 million

Capacity Development of Market Oriented Rural Enterprise (CADMORE), 2020 to 2022

CADMORE project is being implemented with the purpose of improving agri-business profitability of 5,400 smallholder farmers organized in 180 Farmer Organizations (FOs) and 96 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Chitipa, Karonga, Mzimba and Nkhatabay Districts of Malawi. The project targets FOs and MSMEs involved in the Soybean, Cassava and Groundnut value chains. The project has the following interlinked objectives:


 a) To increase business knowledge and skills of smallholder farmers and farmer organizations in market-oriented production for targeted value chains; b) To build capacity of MSMEs in business management and access to agri-finance; and

c) To strengthen and expand linkages between farmer organizations, agro dealers and traders/agro-processing companies for enhanced access to inputs and output markets.

The project is being implemented in a consortium of Self Help Africa (SHA), Rural Market Development Trust (RUMARK) and Total LandCare (TLC). Self Help Africa is the lead organisation. Total funding to TLC is $0.15 million

Community Livelihood Support Programme around Nyika National Park and Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve of The Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier Conservation Area (MAZA-TFCA), 2021 to 2023

MAZA-TFCA builds on the successes, experiences and lessons of the 3 year EU/KfW project with the same goal: to secure the biodiversity of a contiguous, transfrontier conservation area that connects Nyika National Park and Vwaza Wildlife Reserve in Malawi with North Luangwa National Park and Chama Forest Reserve in Zambia.

The proposed program is being implemented for two years with a budget of $600,000 under the Malawi-Zambia Transfrontier project funded by KfW. In addition to the targeted communities in the TFCA and the Nyika-Vwaza Association, key partners, stakeholders and collaborators include:

    ⇒ Peace Parks Foundation is the project executing agency with oversight in each country by the Transfrontier Management Unit.
    ⇒ Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Malawi and Zambia
    ⇒  COMACO as the implementing partner in Zambia • District Executive Committees and District Forestry and Agricultural Offices in Rumphi, Mzimba, Chitipa and Karonga.
    ⇒ Traditional Authorities around the perimeter of the protected areas of Nyika and Vwaza
    ⇒ Lilongwe Wildlife Trust 
    ⇒ Private companies involved with supporting the production, buying and marketing of crop and natural resource products (e.g., Tropha, Export Trading Group, NASFAM, Sunseed Oil, COMACO).

The program interventions address key threats to the biodiversity and viability of the Nyika-North Luangwa component arising from growing land and human population pressures which have led to unplanned land settlements, unsustainable farming practices, poaching, illegal tree cutting for charcoal, firewood and timber, and untenable commercial ventures that have harmful effects on the environment. Left unattended, these threats will undermine prospects of establishing viable wildlife corridors between Nyika, Vwaza and North Luangwa National Parks and any future opportunity of securing the integrity and biodiversity of this TFCA. At stake is the health and survival of such charismatic wildlife species as elephant, lion, leopard, sable, roan and buffalo along with many other species, such as the endemic ground orchids on the Nyika plateau which are being dug out for food and also sold to plant collectors. Given that smallholder farmers make up the vast majority of the communities in and around the TFCA, the urgent need is to mobilise farmers to act more collectively and responsibly for achieving the objectives of this action for successfully managing the TFCA. Although wildlife numbers are below the area’s carrying capacity, species presence is intact, demonstrating ability for a full recovery.

Approximately 10,000 rural households are being targeted in areas identified as high priority. Many of these households are engaged in subsistence farming, charcoal-making, illegal hunting and other high-risk livelihoods within the TFCA. In all activities, the project targets women, youth and other vulnerable groups. For Nyika National Park, the targeted community areas and hotspots include 2 areas in Chitipa under TA Nthalire, and 9 areas in Rumphi under TAs Katumbi, Chisoya, Mwahenga, Mwalweni and Kachulu. For Vwaza Wildlife Reserve, targeted community areas and hotspots include 9 areas under Rumphi under TAs Zolokere and Chikulamayembe, and 4 areas in Mzimba under TA Mpherembe

Small Scale Mechanization

TLC is evaluating commercially viable approaches for farmers to access a range of appropriate mechanized services, such as leasing of equipment from commercial farmers or suppliers of farm machinery, or contracting services from local agro-dealers or entrepreneurs who receive bank loans to acquire the equipment as a business. A key area of focus will be to assess benefits to youth from new employment opportunities and benefits to women from reduced labour drudgery due to the labour-saving efficiency of the technology and its greater productivity (e.g., transport with trailers, shellers, land preparation and planting with rippers and seeders vs. manual ridging and planting). Assessments include evaluating access to mechanization related services among female-headed farm households and other disadvantaged households.

Sustainable Rural Enterprises and Livelihoods (SURELIVES), 2022

Sustainable Rural Enterprises and Livelihoods (SURELIVES) project is a program which is funded by Altria and is being implemented by Total LandCare and Washington State University through a memorandum of understanding. The project which started in July 2006 aims at addressing problems faced by rural communities in Malawi which include frequent food shortages, overdependence on maize, environmental degradation, limited access to input/output markets, acute wood shortages for fuel and building materials, unsafe drinking water, poor knowledge and skills to adopt productivity-enhancing technologies, and weak extension services.

The aims and objectives of the project are fully aligned with the mandate of Total LandCare (TLC), specifically to improve the livelihoods of rural communities through interventions that promote increased farm diversification, productivity and profitability with the added benefits of making them adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Total LandCare is implementing the project in Mchinji, Dedza and Mzimba districts of Malawi with a total funding of U$ 204,137.


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