Project Everest

Work Update

HANDOVER Agriculture Assessment Malawi July 2017

Andrew Vild
Andrew Vild | Aug 4, 2017 | in Agriculture Assessment

The Malawi Agriculture Assessment Team focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the issues faced by smallholder farmers in Malawi. This was achieved by conducting the Empathise, Define and Ideation phases of the Design Thinking process.

The key issues found revolved around most farmers only having one harvest per year due to lack of irrigation. This poses a threat to both food and income security as not enough produce is yielded during the dry season to provide sustenance to families, nor is their income consistent year-round. Mono-cropping and a lack of crop rotation also means the depletion of essential nutrients from the soil, resulting in a widespread dependence on fertilizer to maintain soil health. Issues surrounding pests were also found to be widespread and demonstrates the inability of farmers to respond and adapt to unforeseen risks such as sudden pest infestation. Current methods of managing pests, such as the excessive bulk-buying and usage of pesticides is proving ineffective and unsustainable, while also raising input costs for the farmers.

The team’s ideate stage led to the securing of two, one acre plots of land to conduct the Experimental Farm concept which serves to mitigate the above issues. The team has formed crucial partnerships with the Blantyre District Agriculture Development Cabinet and has signed a MOU with Linda Mphande, the director. The Blantyre District Commissioner Bennet Nksala has also shown strong interest in the project, and has expressed interest in working with Project Everest once the company is registered in Malawi.  

It must be noted that this Agriculture Assessment was focused on surveying a cross section of the urban rural villages in the Nancholi area. Therefore, this has by no means uncovered the full extent of agricultural issues in Malawi. Surveying and analyses of other communities may yield different insights and implications.

The extended Handover Document, Appendix and Video are attached.

edited on Aug 4, 2017 by Andrew Vild

Paige Moult Jan 20, 2018

Great reading about the testing and the surveying hints. Potentially could give detailed visual instructions to ensure farm managers understand as much about maintenance as possible, or have a contact in the village who can interpret the instructions correctly for the farm managers (like UBALE). Maybe further analysis or new surveys with farmers may help to work out whether Malawian foods will work together in the different cropping methods as the other successful farms did. Looking forward to working on the project.


Amber Johnston Jun 30, 2018

Status label added: Work Update