N2Africa-Malawi participated in the launch of USAID-funded project "Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains" (INCV) on 12 July 2012, an event which also marked the 100th day in office for the new president, Her Excellency Joyce Banda. Since INVC will be promoting soybean production and consumption for improved livelihoods and nutrition, N2Africa exhibited some of the soybean technologies being promoted in Malawi; from why and how to use inoculants to household level production of soybean food products (soy milk, protein-fortified flour and snacks).
N2Africa in Malawi has lost Research Officer Joseph Mhango to the Seed Trade Association of Malawi. It was a difficult decision for him to make, and a hard one for us to accept, however we understand he cannot miss this opportunity to gain new skills and expertise.
|When the Agricultural Extension Officer from the Department of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES) in Salima resigned last year, Mr. George Mkhwamba began to coordinate all the N2Africa activities with his fellow Lead Farmers in the area. He did this at his own initiative and voluntarily.|
Preparations for N2Africa 2011/12 growing season commenced on 1st July 2011 in Malawi. The IITA/CIAT team began with sensitization meetings with farmers in almost all the project sites and the activity is still ongoing. The sensitization meetings covered several topics including capacity building of farmer groups, demonstration plots, supervision and data collection, monitoring and evaluation and marketing.
N2Africa Project participated in the National Agriculture Fair which was organized by the Malawi Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The fair was held in Blantyre City from 25th to 27th of August 2011. The agriculture fair was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Malawi, Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika.
At the fair, whose theme was ‘Value Addition for Increased Economic Returns’, N2Africa showcased amongst other things the following item:
N2Africa Project activities;
In this MSc research by Greta van den Brand, legume technology niches were identified through detailed system characterization, with the use of a farm typology to deal with the large diversity in smallholder farms. The results of farm characterizations, covering diverse farm types in Mchinji and Salima district in central Malawi, were used to gain insights in the possibilities of legumes to improve nutrition, livelihoods and soil fertility.
One of the most important components of the production packages being disseminated to farmers by N2Africa are improved varieties of soybean, common bean, groundnut and cowpea. Many of these improved varieties have been developed and tested by the Tropical Legumes II (TL-II) project. For example there are numerous soybean varieties that are being introduced to farmers that were developed by TL- II. In March the N2Africa project leader, Kenton Dashiell was in Malawi and met with Hailu Tefera (pictured) the scientist leading the TL-II soybean breeding project.
IITA scientists and partners working under the N2Africa project in Malawi launched the 2010-2011 planting season on 17 November in Bwalo II Village in T.A. Mtemambalame in Lilongwe District.
During the event, farmers were given seeds of improved varieties of soybean, groundnut, bean and cowpea for the planting season. Based on individual demands, farmers were offered inoculants for those that selected inoculation as their constraint; and TSP fertilizer for those that selected fertilizers as their constraint.