Food insecurity is one of the major threats that the people of Malawi face. 90% of Malawian farmers are smallholders who face a host of challenges in their farming activities, including:

small land size
poor soils
high cost of farm inputs
erratic rainfall
lack of appropriate technology
lack of market for crops
high prevalence of HIV/AIDS
lack of skills and knowledge
shortage of government extension workers

Farmers are often reluctant to learn from outside technical experts, so the lead farmer concept uses farmers who have adopted sustainable farming techniques to disseminate technical messages to other farmers. Project interventions included:

training of lead farmers
compost manure making and use
soil and water conservation management
agroforestry nursery management
winter production
crop diversification
community seed banks
livestock management

The Lead Farmer Project is one of a range of “Promising Practices” being funded by the Development Fund of Norway, to support experiences that can provide insights elsewhere, as long as care is taken to adapt to local circumstances.

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Community based
Agriculture and forestry
CTCN Keyword Matches
Non-ferrous metals
Soil moisture conservation techniques