During a visit to InnovAfrica the project sites in the Dediza/Lobi area of Malawi on 3rd June 2019, project team and MAP members were exposed to various farmer-led demonstrations that showed improved crop productivity and diversity.
Intercropping maize, millet and sorghum with soybeans and groundnuts showed markedly better results than solo crops. The crops are grown on raised and flatbed ridges and fertilized with compost, locally made by farmers using various methods.
Farmers participating in the project expressed that crop yields from the trials have improved since the InnovAfrica project interventions started in 2017.
Farmers have positive responses to the interventions brought by the project and its contributions to food diversity and nutrition. A woman farmer in Lobi reported better nutrition and health with consuming orange maize intercropped with legumes.
Some of the challenges encountered by farmers included birds damaging sorghum crops and lack of access to markets. Some farmers have started to do early planting as it can reduce crop loss due to birds’ damage.
Nafasam, a MAP member involved in agricultural trading, promised farmers to open market access to groundnuts and beans as long as farmers produce enough quantity and keep the quality of products. Farmers showed interest in the proposition and asked for a contract as assurance for buying the produce.