Located a gentle 20 minute walk from Nkwichi Lodge along stunning Lake Niassa, the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project (MWAP) is a key component of the Manda Wilderness Community Trust’s vision of improving the lives of the 16 communities living in the remote Niassa Province of Northern Mozambique.
While at first glance, the MWAP facility appears to be little more than a small community garden, the actual scope and complexity of the operation is quite ambitious. Following the ecological principles of permaculture, the MWAP farm serves as a learning center for the 16 villages. Training sessions and demonstration plots on topics including soil conservation, natural pest control, plant care, improved irrigation methods and other sustainable methods of farming are attended by community members. Participants from the 16 communities use the knowledge gained at MWAP to increase yields and grow a wider variety of vegetables, helping to improve nutrition in the villages while conserving natural resources. Moving beyond subsistence agriculture, the hope is that additional food produced in the villages can be sold to Nkwichi Lodge to provide a source of income.
Currently, the MWAP farm produces much of the fruits and produce served to guests at Nkwichi Lodge. Fennel, rocket, papaya, passion fruit, basil and tomatoes are amongst the fresh produce grown. The farm has recently started producing additional agriculturally-based products, like post-consumer recycled paper notecards, dried chili peppers and organic lemon grass tea. Sale of these products to Lodge visitors helps support the on-going improvements at the demonstration farm.
A project recently underway is a site-wide water harvesting project to reduce run-off and prevent erosion on the farm. Planning is also underway to add a small outdoor kitchen and a few small dwellings so that long-term volunteers can live at the farm. Building on the strengths of its first decade in operation, the MWAP offers people real opportunities to improve their health and economic prospects while farming in a way that respects the natural environment.
Read more about this amazing project here.