Malawi

Opportunities and constraints to legume diversification for sustainable maize production on smallholder farms in Malawi

Sustainable intensification of smallholder farms in Africa is highly dependent on enhancing biological nitrogen fixation (BNF). Legume diversification of maize-based systems is a core example of sustainable intensification, with the food security of millions of farm families at stake. This study highlights the constraints and opportunities associated with the adoption of legumes by smallholder farmers in southern Africa. A two-part survey of households and farm fields (n=88) was conducted in the Ekwendeni watershed of northern Malawi.

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Journal Article

Maize Research in Malawi: Lessons from Failure

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Journal Article

Future climate impacts on maize farming and food security in Malawi

Agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi's economy and maize is the most important crop for food security. As a Least Developed Country (LDC), adverse effects of climate change (CC) on agriculture in Malawi are expected to be significant. We examined the impacts of CC on maize production and food security in Malawi's dominant cereal producing region, Lilongwe District. We used five Global Circulation Models (GCMs) to make future (2011 to 2100) rainfall and temperature projections and simulated maize yields under these projections.

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Journal Article

Do the poor pay more for maize in Malawi?

The paper uses data from the Third Integrated Household Survey to examine whether or not the poor pay more for maize in Malawi. The paper finds that the poor in rural and urban areas pay more for maize. It is found that the poor pay more for maize irrespective of when the maize is purchased. Thus, seasonality does not seem to be behind the observed poverty penalty. The paper finds that the poverty penalty varies with seasonality; it is significantly more pronounced in the post-harvest period when maize is in abundance, it is, however, reduced in the lean season.

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Journal Article

Caught in a Productivity Trap: A Distributional Perspective on Gender Differences in Malawian Agriculture

Our study provides a nationally representative analysis of the gender gap in agricultural productivity in Malawi. We decompose the gap, for the first time, at the mean and selected points of the agricultural productivity distribution into (i) a portion driven by gender differences in levels of observable attributes, and (ii) a portion driven by gender differences in returns to the same set of observables.

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Journal Article

Gender norms and the marketing of seeds and ware potatoes in Malawi

Gender dynamics shape and influence the nature of participation in, as well as the ability to benefit from, seed and ware potato markets in Malawi. 35 sex-disaggregated focus group discussions with farmers and 4 interviews with extension officers were conducted in Dedza and Ntcheu districts. Data on seed marketing and purchase, ware potato marketing, affordability, marketing decisions, and clients, as well as social norms and values that influence market participation by men and women were collected and analyzed using the Real Markets Approach focusing on social relations within markets.

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Journal Article

Cassava Commercialization in Malawi

Malawi continues to rely on maize for household food security. Policies to enhance food security continue to target maize production. Traditionally production and use of cassava was localized in lakeshore areas until the past two decades when maize production was increasingly affected by rainfall variability. Cassava as an alternate food crop has rapidly gained popularity and commercialization of the cassava sector is steadily taking off.

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Working Paper

Sustainable Inclusion of Smallholders in the Emerging High Quality Cassava Flour Value Chains in Africa: Challenges for Agricultural Extension Services

Building on research conducted under the Cassava: Adding Value for Africa (C:AVA) Project, Adebayo et al. examine the main challenges to cassava extension service partners in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi. The authors explore ways to limit the exclusion of smallholders from the commercialization of cassava production and marketing.

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Journal Article

Cassava market development: a path to women's empowerment or business as usual?

Throughout sub-Saharan Africa there are a number of initiatives aiming to improve the effectiveness of staple crop value chains as part of a broader discourse around markets and poverty reduction. Staple crops, such as cassava, are often considered as an entry point for targeting market interventions to the rural poor, particularly women. However, initial findings from fieldwork in Nigeria and Malawi show a much more complex picture of the role of cassava and cassava markets in men and women's livelihoods, which varies by location, ethnicity, and life-stage of individuals.

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Journal Article

Gender norms and access to extension services and training among potato farmers in Dedza and Ntcheu in Malawi

This paper explores the interaction between extension services and gender relations in order to suggest ways and strategies that can be useful in ensuring that extension services are gender-equitable and empowering for women.

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Journal Article