Christina Zaluso is a farmer, mother of 3 young children and chief breadwinner since her husband husband has a chronic illness. They live in the Dedza District of Malawi in an area which has faced recurrent dry spells in recent times.
In the past, Christina grew maize to feed the family and earned a small income from selling the surplus. But it wasn’t enough to enable her to buy improved seed or to invest in new technologies. After repeated periods of drought, her crop yields dwindled, leaving the family facing days without food. Christina had to take on cleaning jobs to make ends meet, leaving less time to spend with her family and farm.
Christina told us that it was only after the ASPIRE Revolving Loan Scheme arrived in her village, Ntolo, that things began to improve. On joining the Nachikunga Community Grain Bank, she received a loan of 20 kg of soya beans, together with training in growing the crop, new technologies and how to manage repayments.