APRA Working Paper 81: Use of Climate-Smart Agriculture Practices and Smallholder Farmer Market Participation in Central Malawi

Written by: Mirriam Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa, David Zingwe and Jacob Mazalale

In the past few decades, climate-smart agriculture (CSA) has been promoted to improve food security and raise incomes as a strategy for sustainable agricultural development. The adoption rates among smallholder farmers, particularly in Africa, remain low and have varied in different contexts. We investigated the market participation spill over effects from the adoption of CSA practices in central Malawi. We tested the hypothesis that the extent of the use of CSA practices in the past 10 years can lead to production surpluses that enable smallholder farmers to participate in markets and thereby increase agricultural incomes. The findings suggest, among others, the need to intensify efforts to promote CSA adoption specifically over a longer period for benefits of the technologies to materialise. The adoption of CSA practices over time enhances crop market participation – an important aspect required for production sustainability as well as for transforming agriculture towards greater market orientation among smallholder farmers.

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