Malawian tea producers build resilience to climate change
Did you know that each cup of tea we drink requires about 34 litres of water to produce?
Tea farmers depend on the rain both for their thirsty crop and for their communities’ health and wellbeing. The Sukambizi Association Trust (SAT), representing >11,240 smallholder tea farmers in Southern Malawi, produces ~13m kg of Fairtrade certified green leaf tea a year, representing 60% of Malawian smallholder tea production. The climate crisis means these farmers are now facing increasingly frequent droughts, floods and unpredictable rainfall. Crop yields and profits are down, boreholes are drying up and some people are forced to rely on contaminated streams for water.
SAT is actively building their resilience through improved water stewardship with technical support from Water Witness Malawi. Using their Fairtrade Premiums, SAT farmers are improving water management in their fields and supporting whole communities in good water sanitation and hygiene practices. They are also improving watershed protection. In 2020, SAT committed $190,000 USD to water stewardship, constructing 11 community boreholes, 10 school toilets, a water pipe network and planting >200,000 trees. They are a genuine inspiration to farmers building resilience in the face of climate change.
Project funded under Scottish Government’s Climate Justice Innovation Fund.
The theme of climate justice touches on many issues including politics, trade, and human rights. To learn more about the climate crisis, the inequalities it emphasises, and how different organisations are working towards a fairer and more sustainable world, check out the links below: