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How Growing Pigeon Peas Can Empower Rural Women in Malawi

101 Power Malawi

1 Mar 2023

Women Thriving in Pigeon Pea Agriculture

The Nandolo Farmers Association of Malawi (NFAM) has called for concerted efforts in empowering women in agriculture, particularly in growing pigeon peas stressing the crop has potential to transform the lives of many rural women in Malawi.

The association’s chairperson, Susan Chimbayo has stressed this on her arrival from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she went to attend the 6th Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA) High level breakfast meeting on the margins of the 36th summit of the African Union.

According to Chimayo, women play a critical role in agriculture, and their empowerment is essential for significant transformation in the sector considering the fact that the crop has the potential to transform the lives of many rural women in the country as crop offers high nutritional value, income, and boosts soil fertility, making it an essential export crop.

“NFAM is urging stakeholders to support our efforts to empower women in agriculture and unlock the potential of Nandolo as there is much work to be done to realize the crop's full potential, and NFAM is up for the challenge.” -She said

“The organization is moving towards handshakes, not handouts, commercial farming, not subsistence farming, and collective marketing and aggregation.

NFAM sees its future in the value addition and processing of Nandolo into various products, creating demand beyond India, its primary consumer, hence calling for collective marketing and aggregation, as well as value addition as we are eyeing to commence processing Nandolo into dhal, flour, and animal feed.”

Chimbayo added; NFAM represents over 10,682 smallholder farmers from 45 cooperatives, of which 7,478 are women and 3,204 are males.

The organization aims to equip Nandolo farmers with education and skills that will make them more efficient and facilitate maximum output.

It also seeks to create a conducive agricultural operating environment for improved variety, productivity, and profitability.

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