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RPC Farmer Field School at Chadza - A new promise, a new challenge!

I've finally got fingers to keyboard and I have too much to tell you. I know I promised an update on our Mchinji work and I'll get to that. But for now, just this...

Satellite view of our site. (Google Maps. Imagery ©2022 CNES / Airbus, Maxar Technologies, Map data ©2022)

For weeks now, I've been busting to share some really momentous news: We are starting a Farmer Field School at Chadza, just outside Lilongwe. It will specialise in small scale poultry. For a small NGO like us, this is big news. And we are not fooling ourselves - it will be a challenge. It will undoubtedly be a long and arduous journey but it will fill a need - no like institution exists for sharing knowledge about village chickens. And village chickens are so important for rural communities! Someone called them "petty cash on legs" which is actually a very significant observation. They are small enough to be a manageable economic unit which means that losses are not financially crippling for small scale farmers. But they are still valuable enough to serve as a significant buffer against unforeseen shocks and setbacks - to provide a level of "resilience" as it is called.

We are running a funding campaign to get this started and hoping to get support from a range of people and institutions who understand the importance of village poultry here. If you are in a position to help, we would love it. You can make a tax deductable donation through our affiliates at Kyeema - please start here. I'll even send you an intriguing little anecdote sent the other day by my friend David Adams about the remarkable Rudolf Virchow and his run-in with Otto von Bismarck, another small triumph of science over politics.

And here in Malawi, it's that time of year again. Farmers are busy planting their crops for the wet season which has started a little early this year. They haven't got spare time for their chickens right now but we'll be out there in the New Year expanding our reach and showing more farmers how they can so easily avoid the losses that plague them.

Which reminds me, let me not dwell on the Christmas and New Year greetings. Just have a good one!

Pat Boland

21 December 2022

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