Our Mission is to achieve food sovereignty within communities in Malawi. We plan to achieve this goal by persuading different branches of local government, domestic civil society, foreign voluntary agencies from different countries, large and small donors, and the commercial community to work in greater unity. Smallholders form the overwhelming majority of the population of Malawi. They are the main producers of food for everyone in the country. Yet, they are among those most affected by events over which they have little or no control. They certainly have no capacity to adapt to climate change, decreasing fertility of the land, irregular rainfall, and attack of new pests. We believe that there are too many different players that, although united in their purpose to help the smallholders, through their different approaches they are, in effect, competing with one another and spreading different messages.
We plan to achieve this aim – which sounds simple and is in reality tremendously complicated – by working at different levels. Those of us who are within Malawi wish to support and encourage more local cooperation and the creation, whenever we can, of social groups that aim to deliver greater social cohesion and mutual support. We realise this is particularly among the weakest – namely the older and most marginalized members of society. We wish to support popular participation. We believe that we need to reach an appropriate balance between the competing aspirations of different stakeholders – national government, local authorities, local farmer and outside participants.
We realise that over the last 40 years a considerable amount of money has been donated to Malawi and does not seem to have achieve fundamental change or even reached people at the grassroots. We believe that this has been the result of losing focus of the long-term purpose of all donations from all over the world, namely, to enable Malawi to become self-sufficient. We therefore intend to find the most effective and most basic structures that would enable the allocation of any funds in the most effective way to change the lives of the weakest and to withstand food insecurity.
To this aim, we intend to work within the donor communities and civil society in our own countries to realize the need for addressing this single most basic aspirations of the smallholders or Malawi. We will encourage them to decentralise their operations. We will encourage them to plan in greater detail with more inputs from people who have detailed grassroots knowledge and understanding of various groups within the wider Malawian society.
We will act in the most transparent possible way, but also reserve the right not to accept within our groups people who hold fundamentally contrary views. We welcome debate but even more welcome action and we will pursue that action wherever we can. We believe that the solution to most challenges confronting Malawi can be found within the communities with which we wish to forge partnerships.