Participatory research on legume diversification with Malawian smallholder farmers for improved human nutrition and soil fertility

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dc.contributor.author Bezner Kerr, Rachel
dc.contributor.author Snapp, Sieglinde
dc.contributor.author Chirwa, Marko
dc.contributor.author Shumba, Lizzie
dc.contributor.author Msachi, Rodgers
dc.date.accessioned 2012-03-02T18:09:34Z
dc.date.available 2012-03-02T18:09:34Z
dc.date.issued 2007
dc.identifier.citation Bezner Kerr, R., Snapp, S., Chirwa, M., Shumba, L., & Msachi, R. (2007). Participatory research on legume diversification with Malawian smallholder farmers for improved human nutrition and soil fertility. Experimental agriculture, 43, 437-453.doi:10.1017/S0014479707005339 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10625/48404
dc.description.abstract Legume species are uniquely suited to enhance soil productivity and provide nutrient-enriched grains and vegetables for limited-resource farmers. Yet substantial barriers to diversification with legumes exist, such as moderate yield potential and establishment costs, indicating the need for long-term engagement and farmer-centered research and extension. This review and in-depth analysis of a Malawian case study illustrates that farmer experimentation and adoption of legumes can be fostered among even the most resource-poor smallholders. Multi-educational activities and participatory research involving farmer research teamswas carried out with 80communities.Over five years more than 3000 farmers tested legumes and gained knowledge of legume contributions to child nutrition and soil productivity. The average area of expansion of legume systems was 862m2 in 2005; 772m2 for women and 956m2 for men indicating a gender dimension to legume adoption. Farmers chose edible legume intercrops such as pigeonpea and groundnut over the mucuna green manure system, particularly women farmers. Interestingly, expansion in area of doubled-up edible legumes (854m2 in 2005) was practiced by more farmers, but was a smaller area than that of mucuna green manure system (1429m2). An information gap was discovered around the biological consequences of legume residue management. Education on the soil benefits of improved residue management and participatory methods of knowledge sharing were associated with enhanced labour investment; 72% of farmers reported burying legume residues in 2005 compared to 15% in 2000. Households reported feeding significantly more edible legumes to their children compared with control households. Participatory research that incorporated nutritional education fostered discussions within households and communities, the foundation for sustained adoption of legume-diversified systems. en
dc.format Text en
dc.format.extent 1 digital file (p. 437–453) en
dc.format.mimetype Application/pdf
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher Cambridge University Press en
dc.subject MALAWI en
dc.subject FARMING SYSTEMS en
dc.subject SOIL FERTILITY en
dc.subject LEGUMES en
dc.subject PARTICIPATION en
dc.subject HEALTH en
dc.subject FARMER PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH en
dc.subject NUTRITION en
dc.subject CROP DIVERSIFICATION en
dc.title Participatory research on legume diversification with Malawian smallholder farmers for improved human nutrition and soil fertility en
dc.type Journal Article (peer-reviewed) en
idrc.project.number 101829
idrc.project.title Soils, Food and Healthy Communities (Malawi) - Phase II en
idrc.dspace.access IDRC Only en
idrc.rims.adhocgroup IDRC SUPPORTED en
idrc.noaccess Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this research output is not available in the IDRC Digital Library or by request from the IDRC Library. / Compte tenu des restrictions relatives au droit d'auteur, le texte intégral de cet extrant de recherche n'est pas accessible dans la Bibliothèque numérique du CRDI, et il n'est pas possible d'en faire la demande à la Bibliothéque du CRDI. en


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