In good news for Malawian smallholders, two recent events have made it possible for SSLLP to extend its reach in rural Malawi.
Recently, the USAID has agreed to a no-cost extension for the Kulera project which it is funding. The project started in September 2009 and was expected to end in September 2012. However, the funding agency has now agreed to a no-cost extension which will carry the project through till September 2013. SSLLP and other partners in the project met with the lead agency Total Land Care on 17 January to map a detailed path forward for this project.
Among the aims of the Kulera project is to mitigate the degradation of the country's natural resources from unsustainable land-use practices and encroachment into key protected areas. This also includes poaching and killing of wild animals in protected areas. SSLLP's involvement in the project will ensure that livestock production in communities surrounding protected areas reduces the malpractice of killing wild animals while maintaining good nutrition for people in those communities.
In a separate development, SSLLP has been approved to undertake a 30 month program of 'Support to Livestock Extension and Training Services (SLETS)' which is funded by the Flanders International Cooperation Agency (FICA). This action will take place in new areas within the districts of Kasungu and Mzimba where SSLLP has already been working with FICA, as well as in other districts namely Ntchisi, Nkhata Bay, Rumphi, and Karonga. The objectives of the SLETS program are similar to those of the earlier FICA program: