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Nsanje Food Income and Market

Project Ongoing

Malawi still faces chronic under-nutrition and stunting which is currently at 47% for children under five.   Although the rate of underweight under-nutrition has dropped these improvements are fragile as about 8.8% of women of child bearing age have chronic energy under-nutrition (Low body mass index).

The overall objective is to enable the poor and vulnerable households to have increased their participation in local economy and improved their household nutrition and food security through environmentally sustainable improvements to agriculture production, support to farmer organization capacity, and agribusiness appropriate to vulnerable households at the village and district level.

Concern Worldwide is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organization dedicated to the reduction of suffering and working towards the ultimate elimination of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest countries.  Founded as an Irish response to the famine in Biafra almost 50 years ago, Concern today has grown into a global network operational in 28 of the world’s poorest countries. In Malawi, we work in 4 districts of Nsanje, Nkotakota, Lilongwe and Mchinji.

Concern Worldwide 

P.O. Box 5



Key Project Information

The Malawi Department of Agriculture Research Services (DARS), with support from the International Potato Center (CIP) and others, has been developing, evaluating and releasing new and promising sweet potato varieties for the past three decades and longer.  


Recently, DARS  in collaboration with CIP released 6 new OFSP varieties.  Over the past three years, vines of these six varieties have been multiplied and they are now being promoted on a small scale.  The objective of this project activity is to promote these new varieties aggressively at scale across all 4 districts Concern works in Malawi with support from the CIP DFID funded SUSTAIN project (Scaling Up Orange fleshed Sweet Potato through Agriculture and Nutrition).


To achieve the up-scaling, Concern has been promoting the OFSP varieties through the Mother & Baby Design. This is a simple design developed in the late 1990’s here in Malawi by Sieg Gassman of ICRISAT.  It consists of one location that has all treatments surrounded by many locations that have only one treatment (the name ‘mother & baby’ was coined by one of the early participating farmers).  The mother plot is managed jointly by research, extension and farmers to ensure uniformity amongst treatments allowing for the collect of quantitative data. 


Specific objectives:

  1. Extreme rural poor have increased and diversified agricultural production leading to improved nutritional security.
  2. Civil Society organizations and local communities have increased capacity to provide an enabling environment for extremely poor rural households to have improved income and participation / access to markets.


Activities (Nsanje District Specific- SUSTAIN):

  1. Mother and Baby design demonstration plots established in all Ministry of Agriculture Extension zones and farmers are collectively evaluating 6 OFSP varieties.
  2. 6,000 households have received and planted five bundles of Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) vines.
  3. 500 farmers trained on rapid multiplication of OFSP vines for distribution.
  4. 10 DVM certified by government seed services as official suppliers of OFSP planting materials
  5. 200 Lead Farmers trained in planting and crop husbandry of Orange Flesh Sweet Potato production


Members: Tommy Chimpanzi –; Clara Nanchinga –

Leader Johannes Chikarate
Start date August 01, 2012
End date December 31, 2016
Lead organization Concern Worldwide
Collaborating organizations CIP (SUSTAIN)
Region Southern Africa
Countries Malawi
Status Ongoing
Type of project Development / Dissemination and Research
Financing Sources Irish AID (rolling funds and CIP (SUSTAIN) - USD 50,000
Members Johannes Chikarate, JOSE MARIO CARDENAS


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