Rev. Tony Murphy.

Happ-pea to help

A Cork clergyman is celebrating the success of farmers in Malawi who have seen their lives transformed after receiving a fairer price for their pigeon pea crop.

To coincide with Christian Aid Week, 14-20 May, Rev. Tony Murphy from Carrigaline shared a photo with a pea pod in place of his normal smile.

He took the snap to demonstrate his happiness for farmers in southern Malawi, Africa, who have received a higher income for their drought-resistant harvest after joining a Christian Aid-supported pigeon pea cooperative.

Pigeon peas thrive in drought-prone southern parts of Malawi. They’re cheap to grow from recycled seed and require minimal amounts of fertiliser and pesticides, making them an ideal crop to grow in a region where over 60% of families live in poverty.

Esther Saizi, a 54 year old widowed grandmother from Malawi, is one of more than 3,300 farmers helped by Christian Aid’s local partner, the Nandolo Farmers’ Association, which runs the pigeon pea cooperative.

With the improved profits from her harvest, Esther began buying goats, which provide milk and meat for her family as well as manure for her crops, which saves on expensive fertiliser. Esther even used her income to buy a sewing machine and now she makes clothes for her family.

Christian Aid Ireland Chief Executive, Rosamond Bennett, praised the impact of the charity’s supporters: “The transformation in Esther’s fortunes in Malawi is only made possible because of our incredible supporters who generously give each Christian Aid Week to fund our work to help tackle the root causes of poverty around the world.”

Rev. Tony has supported humanitarian charity Christian Aid throughout his ministry and in 2021, he completed a sponsored walking challenge in county Cork which raised around €12,000 for the agency’s work.

Christian Aid Week has been running in Ireland since 1957. To donate to Christian Aid, or call 01-4967040 to make a telephone donation.