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IPM for smallholder coffee farmers in Malawi

By Rory Hillocks, Chimmings Chanika, Noah Phiri, George Odour, Albert Chalabesa and Smallholder Coffee Farmers Trust


In the remote hillside farming systems of northern Malawi, coffee is one of the few options for cash cropping. Yields are among the lowest in the world but, despite the low world price for coffee, there is a market for ‘Mzuzu’ coffee because of its high quality. Following on from earlier work to identify the pest constraints, this project promoted control measures within an ICM framework. On-farm demonstrations were used to promote an ICM system based on growing a derivative of the improved variety Catimor 129 (known as Nyika), which is resistant to the two major diseases. On-farm trials to evaluate insecticides led to the approval of fipronil for use on coffee. This project has contributed to the rehabilitation of smallholder coffee in Malawi at a time when the estate sector is abandoning coffee in favour of other crops. The smallholder sector is expanding rapidly with the assistance of the EU, and the SCFT expects the crop to be sufficient to sustain this trade organisation from export levies by 2007. The project has contributed to the sustainability of the sector by promoting ICM for a farming system (coffee × banana intercropping) that is favoured by farmers, and which provides a food crop as well as a cash crop. Work with perennial crops over a relatively short time frame is always challenging, but this research has made significant steps in addressing some of the primary constraints facing Malawian smallholder

Topics: S1, SB
Publisher: Natural Resources International Ltd.
Year: 2006
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