Farmer Innovation Contest: Malawi

Farmer innovation contests were organized in the districts of Thyolo, Salima and Rumphi with the help of the Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS), the Department of Agricultural Extension Services and the Farmers Union of Malawi. A total of 144 farmers submitted applications to the contest, 85 of which were deemed eligible innovations for the contest. Most innovations related to animal husbandry, e.g. treatments for Newcastle disease and African Swine Fever, and crop management, e.g. pest and disease control measures, weed control, grafting methods. The winners received prizes equivalent to 1000 USD, 750 USD and 500 USD for first, second and third place, respectively.

Training of field officers in Thyolo

Innovator showcase

Jane Chirambo – Female innovator, Rumphi District

Innovation: Nyachirambo Livestock booster

Jane Chirambo mills together dried soybean grain, dried pumpkin seed and dried moringa to create a high-protein concoction. The booster is given directly to livestock or can be mixed with bran. This innovation represents a source of income for the innovator. She administers this innovation to sick livestock for one month and collects money in exchange for this service.

The innovator mixes one cup of booster with one basin of bran

Thukuta Nandolo – Male Innovator, Thyolo District

Innovation: Self-made irrigation system with controllable water storage tank

Droughts and dry spells are large concerns in Thyolo, a district where most of the land is occupied by tea estates and where poverty rates are high. This innovation is a form of small-scale irrigation that has the potential to improve food security and increase incomes of producers in rural Malawi. Mr. Thukuta Nandolo, a self-trained irrigation engineer built a high-pressure manual water pump using locally available materials. It is mounted on a shallow well and pumps water into a bamboo water tank elevated in a mango tree.

The innovator using his innovative irrigation system
Irrigation system mechanism

 

Lisbon Mbale – Youth Innovator, Rumphi District

Innovation: Ectoparasite control and wound care for livestock

Lisbon Mbale, a 21 year old farmer innovated upon indigenous knowledge, and uses a local plant called Nthupa to cure livestock parasites. He soaks the plant, mixing it with water to create a foam. It is then applied direction onto the skin of infected livestock. This mixture not only kills parasites, but it also dries and heals the wo

unds.

The innovator mixing the components of the treatment for livestock