Field Visit by Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa to Malawi

01 Mar 2024

AFAP recently conducted a field day to showcase its Community Agribusiness Advisor (CAA) model to delegates from the Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa. The field day took place at Linthipe EPA, Dedza district, Malawi where Mawindo Agro-dealer is supplying smallholder farmers with agricultural inputs through the CAA model.

Sheila Keino, AFAP’s Vice President of Development Cooperation, and two delegates from South Africa’s Land and Agricultural Development Bank paid a visit to Mawindo agro-dealer’s shop in the Chimbiya Trading Centre in Dedza district where they were shown Mawindo’s warehouse, which was built with support from AFAP.

The delegates were later taken to a mother demonstration plot hosted by Harrison Ronasi, the CAA for Eliya village. The demonstration field comprised 9 plots with 4 varieties of maize, cowpeas, pigeon peas, common beans, and groundnuts. The event was attended by 147 smallholder farmers from Thiwi East section (60 men and 87 women), representing a good gender balance for women’s participation in agriculture at Linthipe EPA in Dedza district.

The host farmer demonstrated effective agronomic methods in each plot of the demonstration field. The host farmer showcased effective agronomic practices, eliciting keen interest from smallholder farmers. Queries emerged concerning the adoption of these methods, alongside requests for machinery support and exploration of market opportunities for legumes. The farmers used the double-row planting technique introduced by AFAP through the SAP-MaRT initiative, which was financed by AGRA.

The field visit served as a valuable exchange of knowledge and experiences, providing the South African delegates with a deeper understanding of AFAP’s initiatives in Malawi. Through initiatives like the CAA model, AFAP continues to drive demand for quality inputs, facilitate technology adoption, and enhance agricultural extension services.