PAEPARD field visit to groundnut producers in Mchinji district (Malawi)

  • 20th April 2018
  • by secretary
Members of the Steering Committee
visit a farmer testing single and double row
planting in Mchinji District 

10 April 2018. Before holding a steering committee meeting (11-12 April 2018), PAEPARD members organized a field visit to groundnut farmers in the District of Mchinji (109 Km of Lilongwe) to witness pre- and post-harvest management of the aflatoxin.

The CRF project “Stemming Aflatoxin pre- and post-harvest waste in the groundnut value chain (GnVC) to improve food and nutrition security in the smallholder farming families” is coordinated by the National Small Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM) and is implemented in the partnerships with FANRPAN (Pretoria), NRI (University of Greenwich in the UK), DARS (Malawi) and ZARI (Zambia).

“This project has demonstrated the strength of collaboration and reinforces information flow between researchers, extensionists and policy advocates. This combination is a power house. From NASFAM point of view, this project has strengthened the extension advisory content and the evidence in influencing policy formulation/implementation. Numerous lessons were learnt from that partnership of which two are to be highlighted: (i) the undisputed role of farmers in research for development; (ii) the need for a holistic approach to challenges facing farmers: Addressing aflatoxin by promoting adoption of pre and postharvest interventions whilst at the same time enhancing access to better and rewarding markets for farmer produce.  

PAEPARD has contributed beyond a product. It is about methodology for achieving agricultural development; it is about approaches to farmer engagement and the need to strengthen platforms of engagement that will form the basis for farmer engagement, policy dialogue and creation of community of practice. Dr Betty Chinyamunyamu Chief Executive Officer of NASFAM.

Double row versus single row planting
trial in a farmer field in Mchinji 

The project has tested many technologies including the double versus single row planting from which Maria Banda a farmer in Mchinji gave a short lecture to visitors. She said the production from the two practices is not as much different. However, she added that “in climate change conditions with no rains, the double row is indicated to conserve the moisture while in normal rain conditions, the single row planting is recommended”. As per post-harvest technologies the Inverted windrow seems to show a breakthrough with less burden to famers and good rate of dried pods.

A new video on groundnuts has been posted on the platform This video is currently available in English, French and Chichewa. It is freely downloadable, also in 3gp format for mobile phone viewing. Produced for NASFAM.

Drying groundnuts in ventilated stacks
The ventilated stack method allows groundnuts to dry slowly and properly in the field after harvest.

Many farmers lose most of their crop due to poor drying techniques, shelling methods and poor storage. The ventilated stack method lets the sun hit the leaves allowing the groundnuts to dry slowly and properly. The hole in the middle lets in air and a bit of sunlight for the pods to dry slowly.

Please find here the Chichewa version