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The USAID Bureau for Food Security (BFS) has made available this Technical Brief on USAID role in Supporting National Agricultural Research Systems. USAID has launched its Feed the Future (FTF) program, which aims to address the root causes of hunger and poverty and which recognizes the importance of agricultural research as a critical (although not sufficient) input towards the solution in the longer term. Moreover, it is an input that has been relatively under exploited.
In an effort to raise incomes and increase resilience of smallholder farmers and their families in Feed the Future1 (FTF) countries, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded the Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) project. This project is led by Digital Green in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), CARE International (CARE) and multiple resource partners.
A value chain study on sweet potato was conducted in 11 districts of Malawi across all the three regions to analyze and identify bottlenecks and inherent opportunities for possible investments for upgrading and development of the value chain. The study applied both quantitative and qualitative methods to collect primary data from 94 farmers belonging to 7 farmer groups using Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), 14 traders and 16 key informants comprising policy makers, NGO representatives and scientists from both local and international research institutions.
The study began with a review of literature on Malawi’s pigeon pea sector. Specifically, the literature review examined secondary material on pigeon pea production, trade (international and export market) and consumption/demand in Malawi. The literature review also included a quick analysis of secondary data on pigeon pea to understand trends in production, productivity, marketing, pricing, processing and consumption/demand.