Fifty technologies in five years – Feed the Future, MISST project shares outcomes in Malawi
Over 245,000 households reached 14,500 MT of seed produced, over 50 technologies developed – these are some of the highlights presented on the completion of the Feed the Future – Malawi Improved Seed Systems and Technologies (FtF MISST) project. At the national project completion workshop in June 2019, key stakeholders discussed the milestones of the FtF MISST. Other key results included improvement in productivity-gross margins and yield for groundnuts at US$ 352/ha and soybean at US$ 357/ha.
Groundnut yield increased 205% from 0.367 MT/ha in 2015 to 1.121MT/ha. The income per hectare for groundnut increase 9.3% from USD 330.3 to USD 352.
Soybean registered a yield increase of 68.7% from 0.958 MT/ha in 2015 to 1.6 MT/ha. The income per hectare increased 213% from USD 113.78 to USD 357.
Representatives from government ministries, development partners, public, private, research and local bodies discussed the achievements of the project over 4.5 years. The workshop aimed to unveil the commercial potential of the technologies that FtF-MISST developed and promoted and their relevance in the agriculture, trade and health sectors of Malawi. It also aimed to disseminate the results to existing and potential stakeholders and identify critical implementation and investment gaps and knowledge questions to inform the implementation of investments in the country. The gathering evaluated steps to be taken to continue efforts for seed systems delivery, besides strengthening partnerships for bridging post FtF MISST delivery at scale to benefit small and marginal farmers.
The guest of honor, Dr Alexander Bulilani, Controller of Agriculture and Extension services in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Malawi, commended the project, emphasizing the need for similar initiatives to increase production, productivity and delivery of quality seed to smallholder farmers of Malawi.
Dr Patrick Okori, ICRISAT Malawi Country Representative and FtF MISST Advisor, highlighted the commitment of USAID in investing in seed production and delivery, strengthening partnerships, developing technologies, capacities to produce; monitor and deliver quality seed, planting material and allied production technologies. He also thanked MISST staff for their contribution to helping vulnerable communities. Mr Cullen Hughes, USAID Malawi Director of Socio-economic growth, said the country is ready to spearhead innovative programs to strengthen economic resilience and the socio-economic status of smallholder farmers.
FtF MISST was a CGIAR-led consortium, comprising partnerships between CGIAR centers ICRISAT, IITA, CIMMYT and CIP, the Department of Agricultural Research Services, the Department of Agricultural Extension Services, local government, the Seed
Traders Association of Malawi, agro-dealer networks, private sector, civil sector and farmer and community organizations. FtF-MISST was implemented in 10 districts.