James Lucius

James stands in front of his newly designed field

James Lucius, a farmer from Chiendausiku, Malawi is a testimony of the impact of Project Addressing Root Causes (ARC). Project ARC is a program designed to target the root causes of food insecurity in Malawi caused by drought or irregular rainfall. This project introduces drought tolerant crops and new technologies that can increase natural water levels in soils and recharge groundwater levels.

After participating in a community meeting introducing Project ARC, James became interested in the benefits this program could provide. A year-long drought nearly destroyed all his crops, leaving James with a very low food supply.  His 2 acres of land barely produced enough food to support his family, and if he wanted his family to have enough food down the road, he had to do something quick.

Project ARC came to his rescue. James learned important farming techniques that could increase his crop yield and improve his community’s water supply. Tried-and-true methods, like building small trenches into his field, helped to create pools of water he could use to water his crops. He also adopted the Sasakawa planting technique in which he planted 2 seeds in each hole, 2 feet apart.

Just a few months later, James had more corn than he knew what to do with! After growing only a few carts full of food for years, he can now fill 10 large carts with corn, a huge increase from before.

Impressed with the success of these newly adopted farming techniques, James decided to participate in additional Project ARC activities, one of which included membership in PCI’s Women Empowered (WE) Savings groups. By participating in a WE Savings group, James saves his own money and has access to loans. With these loans, James can buy better quality seeds and even hire laborers to work in his field.

After selling the excess corn at the market, James hopes to fix-up his house, buy some goats, and even expand his small vegetable garden. “I have enough food to feed my family for the first time in years! I am very grateful to PCI and Project ARC for teaching me these new technologies. I can now declare that I am a self reliant man who runs a self reliant household,” said James.