Working with farming families to apply climate-smart agricultural techniques

Farmers are diversifying crop yields, incomes and diets with sustainable farming methods and are increasing resilience to climate change.

Detailed map highlighting the geographic locations of past and active projects in Malawi.
Poultry, Dairy, Goats, Crops
Active Since


Most people in Malawi live in rural areas where agriculture is the main source of livelihood.

Environmental conditions can be harsh and unpredictable, bringing devastating floods and drought. Farmers in Malawi face three primary challenges: food scarcity due to drought, lost revenue from crop loss, and limited water supply.  

Heifer International began working in Malawi in 2006, providing training for farming families in livestock and crop production, and working with them to apply climate-smart agricultural techniques to conserve water. By applying sustainable farming techniques, farmers are diversifying crop yields, incomes, and diets, and are more resilient to climate shocks.

In the Central Region, we have provided training for 24,000 farmers — half of whom are women — in climate smart agriculture, efficient irrigation, gender inclusion, and HIV/AIDS awareness. We’ve also worked with 6,000 dairy farmers to increase milk production and enable them access to animal health and breeding services.

685,000 families supported
by our work.

We teach environmentally-friendly approaches such as pit planting to conserve water and applying compost manure to restore soil nutrients. Other conservation practices include installing energy-efficient stoves and planting trees to retain moisture in the soil and prevent erosion. We have installed solar-powered milk chilling tanks to help local dairy farmers who live off the grid to access markets.

We have also worked with local communities to install clean water wells and pumps to improve hygiene and sanitation.

We support farmers to develop their business skills and organize into groups, connecting them to the poultry, dairy, goat, and crop value chains. By working together through cooperatives, farmers can get their products to markets at competitive prices and see a greater share of the revenue. Members of a milk bulking group have nearly doubled milk deliveries in six months, expanding their businesses and increasing incomes.

Living Income

Heifer works with farmers to secure a living income so they can lead dignified and prosperous lives. Learn more about what achieving a living income entails.


  • Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Shire Highlands Milk Producers Association
  • Water Access Malawi
  • Vision Fund Malawi