Title: Adoption of agroforestry technology in Malawi: Hindrances experienced by farmers in Nsanje District

Author(s): Jasmine Gello
Final project
Year of publication:
Agroforestry adoption, land degradation, soil fertility, food insecurity, Malawi


Agroforestry technology is one of the sustainable land management practices used to mitigate land degradation, which is affecting smallholder farmers in Malawi. Decline in soil fertility due to land degradation is leading to food insecurity. The government of Malawi, through the Department of Land Resource Conservation, is promoting use of agroforestry trees to improve soil fertility and for other benefits which are acquired by agroforestry trees. Despite government efforts, adoption among farmers is very low. This research examines hindrances faced by smallholder farmers at Mpatsa Extension Planning Area, Nsanje district in the adoption of agroforestry technology. Qualitative methods were used. Both focus group discussions with farmers and key informant interviews were conducted to obtain data from both adopters and non-adopter farmers. The results from a thematic analysis showed that socio-economic, physical, and institutional factors hinder farmers in adopting agroforestry technology. Among them are unsecure land rights, land holding size, drought, flooding, landscape, lack of seed, nursery equipment and extension services, and poor timing. This study offers a preliminary insight which can contribute to the upscaling of agroforestry technology by addressing the challenges outlined by smallholder farmers in Mpatsa Extension Planning Area.

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