This three-year economic empowerment pilot project in Mchinji district of Malawi in Southern Africa integrates smallholder farmers into oilseed value chains. The NCA project aims to improve profits from agriculture, especially among marginalised rural youth and women farmers. The project’s value chain development includes processing and marketing oilseed. Its methodologies involve training, policy advocacy, market linkages and market information.
NCA undertook this mid-term evaluation to assess the project’s relevance and progress towards achieving its planned objectives. Lerato Lekhoaba conducted the evaluation in 2019, using both qualitative and quantitative data, and primary and secondary sources, notably a field survey among members of Mikonga Cooperative.
This project directly contributes to Malawi government strategy and policy objectives, as outlined in the National Agricultural Investment Plan. The intervention has increased profits among participating farmers.
The project team should explore other technologies to enhance farmers’ productivity, especially by supporting year-round oilseed production. It should conduct technology analysis before acquiring new machinery to ensure it is durable, and easy to use, maintain and replace.
To increase the cooperative’s capital and commodity volume, the project should explore ways to increase cooperative membership.
The project should make greater use of radio to raise community awareness of the cooperative’s products and services.
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