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Earth Institute Research Projects

Productivity Improvement Project for Smallholders

Lead PI: Pedro Sanchez

Unit Affiliation: Agriculture & Food Security Center

October 2015 - March 2017
Inactive
Africa ; Malawi
Project Type: Research

DESCRIPTION: The objective of the project’s phase was for farmers to have continual access to tailor-made fertilizer and advice, thus increasing their productivity. The Productivity Improvement Program for Smallholders (PIPS) was implemented through Meridian’s network of agro­dealer­ships throughout the country. Meridian has a network of 107 agrodealerships, which represents an extensive route to market for new fertilizer products. It also offered an opportunity to train smallholders in best practices for fertilizer use and other productivity-enhancing goods and services. The project worked with 30 of these Farmers World stores to pilot innovative marketing and training activities to demonstrate the impact of improved fertilization. Smallholders were advised on best agricultural products and practices to increase productivity and income from food crops, particularly maize and legumes.

OUTCOMES: The goal of the TAF-funded of the Productivity Improvement Program for Smallholders (PIPS) was to sustainably increase the income of the smallholder farmers linked to Meridian and ensure better physical and economic access to food and thus contribute to improved food security in Malawi.

The project was to directly support 6,000 smallholders by providing them with access to customized fertilizers and advice, increasing the volume of their agricultural production by at least 25% on average leading to an average increase in income of at least 20% per farmer over the lifetime of the project.