Child Legacy International is helping to meet the dietary needs of hungry children, men and women in Africa, while also training them to achieve long-term food security through sustainable farming techniques. What’s more, we are helping them gain access to agricultural and food markets that will help build sustainable economies for a lifetime.
The 500-acre farm at CLI’s Malawi Campus has a rich diversity of grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources that feed our staff, visiting guests, and hospital patients, all while supporting the economic sustainability of the project. CLI researches the best agricultural methods and crop choices for the climate and soil, and our research findings are passed on to the local people to improve their harvests, as well as that of our own.
The local community has participated in farming operations for over 10 years, which provides jobs, skills, and purpose. Local residents have been instrumental in the planting and development of bamboo, coffee, mango, and macadamia crops at the farm, as well as playing a key role in fish production. They do everything from netting the fish, to harvesting the fish, to feeding them—local farmers grow soybeans, grind them up and subsidize the food base for the tilapia with the soy paste.
While the farm was already a rich source of green vegetables, mangoes, and fish, for the last five years workers have been planting new long-term crops every year: thousands of coffee plants and bamboo trees, along with more than 8,000 macadamia trees. The bamboo will yield its first harvest in 2023 and the macadamias are ready for harvest in 2023. A delicious and nutritious nut that also has numerous other uses, macadamia enjoys a vast and growing global trade. In 2020, it was a $1.31 billion market, with an expected compound annual growth rate of 11.2% through 2032. We plan to sell much of our harvest through the Malawi Macadamia Association or to the highest international bidders. Malawi is already one of the top 5 world producers of macadamias, but small-share farmers like those served by CLI have had trouble gaining access to the processing infrastructure and building market share. The operation at CLI aims to change that. This year, CLI launched Moyo Goods, a public benefit corporation (PBC) that will help the farm market its macadamias, bamboo, coffee and other products.
Our aquaculture program continues to set the standard for excellence, showcasing the marketable benefits of sustainable design. After feeding our employees, hospital patients, and project site guests, the fish raised in our ponds are sold in the local markets. CLI currently has 16 tilapia ponds holding from 300,000 to 3 million gallons of water. Each pond is sloped with the epicenter depth reaching approximately 3 meters.
Although tilapia only inhabit the top meter of water, where warmth and oxygen are plentiful, we use the 2 meters of depth below as a reservoir to store water that carries the agriculture operation through the dry season in Malawi. Perhaps most important, the fish farming project has spread to the surrounding villages. One of our employees dammed off part of a lake in his village and began raising a small pool of tilapia to sell for additional personal profit for his family—and additional nutrient-rich food for his community.
Adult fish from the ponds at the Malawi Campus are served to local hospital patients and sold every week at local markets in a move toward economic sustainability.
The farm has 140 acres of bamboo, macadamias, 3 hectares of coffee, 10-12 acres of tropical fruit trees, 2 acres of mostly green vegetables, and 16 fish ponds with 3 million tilapia.
Since 2019 CLI has planted more than 11,000 macadamia trees at the Malawi farm, a crop that will soon begin yielding truckloads of macadamia nuts for one of the fastest growing snack food markets in the world.