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SAY NO! TO NEPOTISM - Project Proposals


The proposed research will address which of the following goals for global environmental change research?  Improve knowledge of the Earth’s past and present climate and environment, including its natural variability, and improve understanding of the causes of observed variability and change.
 Improve quantification of the forces bringing about changes in the Earth’s climate and related systems.
 Reduce uncertainty in projections of how the Earth’s climate and related systems may change in the future.
 Understand the sensitivity and adaptability of different natural and managed ecosystems and human systems to climate and related global changes.
 Assess impacts, adaptation and risk management strategies related to climate variability and change
Proposed requested amount from START during 2009: US$13,550.00
Funding from Other Sources: US$IN KIND
Total project funding: US$13,550.00

Due date: midnight (24:00) US Eastern Time on Friday, 15 August 2008.

2009 Pre-Proposal START African Small Grants

PI Name and Title: CHARLES LANGTON VANYA (SENIOR METEOROLOGIST)

Project Title:  Climate variability and change in Malawi: Encouraging sustainable small scale farming in Lower Shire Valley in the context of agricultural practice reforms with respect to climate change. A case study of Konzere and Mwananjovu villages.

Proposed Research: Describe the proposed research project with special emphasis on the portion of the project that might be supported by START (Maximum length: 500 words)
Extreme climatic events (variations in season and weather patterns) ranging from severe drought conditions to extreme flood events have been on the increase in Malawi. Notably were the droughts of 1991/92 and 2004/2005 and flooding of 1956, 1967, 1976, 1986, 1989, 1995, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007. During the flood year of 1996/97, some parts of the extreme north of the country experienced severe drought. These events have negative effect on the planting dates as they vary from year to year due to climate change andvariability.  When the variation is extreme, it seriously affect the agricultural productions and socio-economical  status of the people in general and the vunerable local scale farmers in particuler as most of the affected groups are mostly children, women and the elderly as they totally depend on agriculture for subsistence and income generation. Considering that 90% of the people of Malawi, mainly the poor-rural communities (farm families) are predominantly engaged in subsistence rain-fed agriculture, which periodically gets affected by dry spells, particularly during early January. Therefore, information on the statistically developed probabilities of dry spells occurring at particular stages during the growing season is very vital to local small scale farmers  for decision making in their agricultural production. This type of information may be obtained from the Meteorological Department and transmitted to farmers through the agricultural advisors. Most cereal crops, which are the main staple foods crop in the Shire valley, requires sufficient moisture during their critical stages. For example flowering of maize crop usually takes place during the months of January and February the months most vulnerable to dry spells. Rainfall in these particular months varies from year to year. The occurrence of dry spells during this period can have a negative effect on crop production. Erratic rains have resulted in yearly acute crop failure in the area despite the increase in farm inputs such as fertilizers and combined efforts to improve seasonal weather forecasting at the beginning of the rainy season. In addition, there is  clear evidence that the rainfall pattern over Shire Valley is changing with onset shifting towards the middle of the season. This implies that even though the rainfall amount is the same,  more rains fell within a shorter period than spreading out in the growing season. Therefore ,the wished-for project addresses one of the core challenges highlighted by the Government’s Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) 2006–2011 while fostering the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs1, 3,4 and 7) which aims at eradicating hunger in Malawi through fostering sustainable economic growth and the creasing up with fair and un-biased distribution. The strategy recognizes that medium term growth can be driven by agricultural development through the expansion and diversifying production techniques which include the use of climate change information. To chieve this the project seek to improve the capacity of the Meteorological Services in the production of climate information to suite the local scale farming in the area through the analysis the areal climate information.

Ties to goals for climate change research: Describe how this proposal will contribute to the goals for global environmental change research. (Maximum length:  250 words)
Purpose of this project proposal is to enable small scale farmers around Mwananjovu and Konzere areas to better manage risks and opportunities associated with climate change and variability through evaluating and demonstrating the potential and impact of climatic forecasts to enable farmers to plan and perform more effectively while at the same time fostering the value of using information on climatically induced droughts and potential climate changes in a long term. The use of the existing agricultural structures such as farm clubs would help in the capacity building of small-scale farmers through participatory approach thereby enhancing use of climate information and products. This would help to build the capacity of institutional structures, particularly the meteorological and agriculture services to effectively use climate data in agricultural development with an aim of helping the sustainability of the local small-scale farmers. The project will result in meaningful methods of evaluating and demonstrating the effects of climate variability, cropping patterns and cultivation practices in Malawi partucularly around Mwananjovu and Konzere.  Such improved climate information use will result in improved capability to assess crop failure hazard, effectiveness of climate application to farming practices and prioritize intervention strategies.  The assessment and awareness campaign would increase the use of climatic information and assist the Meteorological service in the capacity building which would target users.  Therefore  this project  therefore adresses  the core issue posed by the objectives of global change resaerch (MGDS) while fostering the (MDGs) which aims at eradicating hunger through fostering economical growth

Capacity Building:  Describe how the project will build capacity at African institutions and for scientists who conduct global change research. (Maximum length:  150 words)
It is expected through this project  that using the existing structures, agriculture field officers would be trained in basic skills required to analyse , interpret and use climate information into agricultural extension message for their areas, together with their supervisory staff, especially the District Agriculture Development Officer (DADO). One distinct advantage of involving the DADO would be replication to other Agricultural Etenstion Planning Areas(AEPA) upon successful implementation in the impact areas. Through this collaboration, there will be sharing of knowledge, skill and information with the Ministry of agriculture through their field agricultural advisers at EPA/Agricultural Development Divisions(ADDs). Finally, improvements in the understanding of the application of climate information will be communicated to Ministry of Agriculture and Parliamentary committee on Agriculture so that policy and decision makers will be in a position to benefit from the outcome of this pilot project.?????

International  Collaboration:  Describe how the project will foster international collaboration. (Maximum length:  150 words)
this project will foster the government effeort in reducing hnuder thereby by assisting Malawi's reliance on food aid from international agencies like World Food Program, World bank and others non governmental agencies (e.g. Care Malawi,ActionAid, and World Vision) who are helping farmers to breed livestock in the areas as means of curbing the climate change and variability impacts on the livelihoods of the poor small scale farmers .

Collaborators: Provide a list with the name of each participating investigator and collaborator including title, name and institutional affiliation. (Maximum length:  150 words)
1.INSTITUITE:  CHIKWAWA DISTRICT ASSEMBLY
   INVESTIGATOR: MR B.J. MACHEKA   DISTRICT  DISSSATER MANAGEMENT OFFICER, PRIVATE BAG 1 CHIKWAWA, MALAWI.     TEL:265-9-052 394 FAX:265-1-420 014
2.INSTITUTE:  SHIRE VALLEY AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
   INVESTIGATOR I : MR.TONNEX DICKSON     DISTRICT AGRICULTURAL   
   DEVELOPMENT OFFICER           ADDRESS: DOLO EPA, BOX 1 NGABU, MALAWI
   INVESTIGATOTOR II:MR. M.A .MANYOZO         COMMPUTER OPEARATOR
   PRIVATE BAG1 NGABU, MALAWI  TEL:265-1-427 276 Email: mamanyozo@yahoo.co.uk
   OTHER COLLABORATIONG PARTNERS:
   VILLAGE GROUP LEADERS (VGH) and  SUB-TRADITIONAL AUTHOURITY (STA)

Links To Decision Making: Provide an explanation of how the project will contribute to decision-making for policy makers and others. (Maximum length:  150 words)
  Lack of capacity and skills to adapt to climate change and variability strategies are attributed to non existing policies  to support  the  local communities in the mitigation of  impacts brought about by the changes and variation in climate . Therefore upon successful implementation of this poroject at field level, Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture would be invited for lesson sharing on how climatic data analysis would aid farmers’ decisions on their farming activities. Different climatic products would be at display offering a wider choice of decision tools that farmers would use in planning their activities. This is expected to increase awareness of the role of Met Departments in enhancing food security at both national and household level. Increase in awareness by parliamentarians would lead to lobbying for more funding towards the country’s Meteorological Department and increased need for  finding new crop varities that are drought torrerant and matures  early.

Budget: Provide an estimation of a proposed expenses using the table below.  Please indicate how you intend to spend funds by category. (You do not need to fill in each box.)

Proposed Expenses
(US$)
Personnel
2000.00
Equipment
1200.00
Travel
1500.00
Other Direct Costs:

     Workshop and Meetings costs: (includes local transport and expenses, catering rentals, etc.)
3000.00
      Project research costs (includes local and regional transportation)
2250.00
      Materials and supplies
1100.00
      Publications/ dissemination costs
1500.00
      Communication costs
1000.00
TOTAL
US$13,550.00

 

 






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