According to the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy, agriculture comprises about 80% of the country’s total workforce, 75% of foreign exchange earnings and 38% of GDP. This critical sector is based on smallholdings of less than 1.5 ha. Production and productivity are compounded by climate change, limited access to agricultural inputs (especially improved crop varieties), weak outputs markets, limited access to credit, HIV/AIDS, and low adoption of improved agricultural technologies. The National Agricultural Policy of Malawi, the framework that guides the review and design of new policies following the expiry of existing ones, has prioritized improvement in technology delivery, especially the seed system of major staple and income security crops as crucial for growth in the sector.
The purpose of this project is to improve legume and cereal seed systems and complementary agricultural innovations to catalyze productivity improvement and associated social benefits of improved food, nutrition, and income security for smallholder farmers. The project will scale up production and delivery of improved innovations of common bean, groundnut, pigeon pea, sorghum, millet, and rice. These crops are the foundation of Malawi’s food, nutrition, and income security as they have been prioritized to address endemic challenges of poverty, vulnerability to climate change, food, and nutrition security.