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What Is Successful And Notable About The Kind Of Fair Trade Malawi Offers

By Lila Barry

The concept of fairtrade has become much more well known in recent years, as organisations look to focus on growing sustainable and fair agricultural markets in developing nations. The fair trade Malawi based organisations look to develop is based on providing accessible markets for the country's farmers. Small Malawian farmers contribute almost two thirds of their country's agricultural GDP, so they are an important factor in the nation's growth.

Small farmers here though are battling in the face of a number of different challenges which continue to make their task difficult though. One challenge is a lack of technical agricultural knowledge, which often hampers the way farms can grow. Unreliable access to fair markets is another massive challenge for the farmers, as it limits the sustainability of their business.

This inability to access decent markets makes it hard for the farmers to feed their families, which in turn directly affects the lives of their children. Access to education becomes much more difficult, as does finding decent healthcare and other social services. The farmers therefore require strong support to enable them to develop as they should.

The Malawian government has made great strides in recent years as it continues to battle against hunger, poverty and social deprivation. The support which fair trade organisations offer to small farmers is vital to supporting this battle though, as it helps farmers to improve their output and efficiency. It also means that output can be raised, which is a vital spoke in the strategy of reducing food insecurity.

Fair trade organisations look to help the farmers in this particular part of Africa address these challenges. One way of doing this is to open up access to markets for small farmers, helping to stimulate demand for their products. They look to build more direct links between farmers and potential customers, which helps to create a more personal sense of involvement, with the relationships allowing a more robust and resilient business plan to develop.

This process means that farmers have a greater capacity to grow, and can acquire the skills and materials they require to become more efficient much more easily. Much of the work done in Malawi using fairtrade techniques began in 1998, and there are now nine organisations which work in this way across the country. Nearly 20,000 farmers and other people involved in agriculture work with them.

Groundnuts are a central crop for many Malawian farmers, while coffee and tea growing are also common. Sugar is also commonly grown in this part of Africa, and fairtrade organisations work hard to develop markets for it and the other crops grown here. Creating additional demand for the products is vital, as that allows the farmers access to greater amounts of resources with which they can improve their farms.

When speaking of the type of fair trade Malawi based organisations do, it would be fair to hail the way in which they have continued to battle food insecurity in the country. Since 1998, they have developed many projects which continue to see farmers fairly rewarded for the work, time and effort that they put into growing their crops. With so much of the Malawian economy reliant on agriculture, it is important that farmers continue to receive this kind of targeted support.

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