There's no question that irrigation can greatly increase household food supplies. With our farmers, we use two types of water pumps.
First, hand pumps. These pumps are great because they allow individual farmers to increase their yields one their own. Clubs work together to plan their farms and sell their crops, but each club member is solely responsible for his own production.
But in some cases, clubs choose to work together in the garden. They plant 2 or 3 acres together, sharing duties among the members. This is often due to a limitted water supply that requires a small area to be used by many people. Still in other cases, the club choose to work together because they are growing food and raising money for a specific pupose, such as for a children's feeding program or an HIV support group.
That's where the second type of pump comes in: windmill pumps. Windmills are capable of pump a lot of water over the course of a day. If the water supply is limitted, such as in the case of a spring, the windmill can collect water at night to be used during the day. A large group, if well organized, can manage the added cost of a windmill pump. And being well organized is actually more important than having good irrigation equipment.
That's why we spend most of our time training farmers on crop management, farm planning, and teamwork. Coupling those trainings with irrigation achieves a multiply effect on yields that can be life changing. And we are seeing those changes at Mziza, Chifuchambewa, Chibanzi, and Nasala. Replicating those results at other locations is our next step.