The AFVP program facilitated the recruitment and deployment of a volunteer, Pieter Haumann to provide support in training trainers, mentors and farm extension personnel for the Productivity Improvement Project for Smallholders (PIPS) project in Central Malawi.

A total of 40 personnel were trained in March 2016 which included managers and team leaders from Farmers World, a partner in the PIPS project. The trained extension personnel will in turn train farmers on the technical knowledge of fertilizers and their safe use.

A handbook for fertilizer use and crop production in Malawi was developed prior to the training and this manual was used to conduct the training of the trainers. The purpose of the training was to enable extension officers to identify and remedy certain potential physical and chemical problems in crop production soils of smallholder farmers in the PIPS project.

Two tests were conducted during the training. At the end of the training, participants took a “final” examination. The examination points gained by the candidates were used to determine the final group of managers and extension officers to be appointed. Each trained extension officer is expected to service up to 200 farmers with a crop production advisory service. Ultimately, it is expected that over 6,000 smallholder farmers in Central Malawi will receive valuable crop production advisory services and help them increase their productivity.