Graduate Student To Head To Malawi

Reposted in part from here.

A few weeks ago I learned that my grad student Corey Alexander is going to be volunteering in Malawi for 6 months starting in January of 2017 to continue working with the Agricultural Research & Extension Trust (ARET). Specifically, he’s going to be heading to Lilongwe to work alongside the awesome folks at ARET that I worked with for a month this year, to develop the tools that they will need to help transition farmers from tobacco to other cash crops and produce. Essentially, Corey is going to begin the process of building the tools based on the framework that I helped develop with the ARET team.

Since Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with an extremely high level of food insecurity, Corey’s work has the potential of having a significant impact. For several decades the primary export of Malawi has been tobacco, but with public health programs reducing smoking habits in many countries, this pattern is changing. This is having, and will continue to have, a devastating effect on the economy, exacerbating the food security issue. Corey’s role will be to build new tools that will help ARET communicate with farmers across the country; bringing the knowledge and skills for growing new crops to the farmers working the field. The tools will also help collect and share other data so that farmers can be warned of changing weather conditions, pests, and public health issues.

Corey will be heading to Malawi through the Uniterra Program of WUSC and CECI, the same program that sent me. However, given the duration of Corey’s visit to Malawi, part of his mandate includes raising $1500 to help offset some of the costs of travel. If you are interested in supporting his volunteer mandate in Malawi, please donate by clicking here.

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