Malawi has been the world’s most tobacco-dependent economy, generating approx. 50% of its export revenue from this crop in 2012, but the percentage did decline. The government has realized, that switching to other crops is essential for the country, and supports amongst others the cultivation of legumes.
The German development agency GIZ promotes the transition to soybeans, groundnuts, sunflower and cassava in a programme which started in Malawi end of 2014 and continues to 2024. The programme aims to raise the agricultural productivity and the income of smallholder farmers, plus to increase the value addition in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way. But as sunflower yields remained relatively low and the potential was limited, GIZ dropped sunflowers from their programme in 2018.
Soybeans, for example, are important as a low-cost source of protein for meals in schools and hospitals. Furthermore, they are used as animal feed in poultry.
Read here our case study Legumes and Sunflower in Malawi.