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Malawi’s Wine Makers Innovate in the Face of Extreme Weather

Malawi is suffering some of the worst impacts of climate change despite being one of the world’s lowest emitters of greenhouse gases. One crop that has been seriously affected by extreme weather is banana, Malawi’s fourth biggest staple crop after maize, rice, and cassava. With temperatures sometimes reaching 43 degrees Celsius, bananas are often in a messy state by the time of harvest. Frustrated by repeated losses, a group of four men and 30 women from Mlare village started making wine using overripe bananas that they grew or bought from other farmers. The farmers have no sophisticated equipment, and their winery production plant is a small room with neither electricity nor running water. The group says it is able to sell its sweet-tasting alcoholic beverage in other districts in the country and they are also attracting interest from consumers in neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania.