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.
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.
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.
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