27 May 2022, Africa: ICRISAT Malawi, in close partnership with the private sector and country National Programs have been utilising the Seed Revolving Fund (SRF) to ensure that more dryland legume and cereal seeds reach more smallholder farmers to support income generation.
ICRISAT provides smallholder farmers with seeds to multiply and then supervises the production and harvesting process through practical training.
This process enables seeds produced by smallholder farmers to be bought at a premium price on the commercial market, thereby, increasing farm-household incomes.
Demand for the seeds are derived from private companies that produce, package and on-sell the certified seed to larger commercial operations.
In 2015, Ms. Malita Phiri, a member of ICRISAT supported Chiyembe Farmers’ Club started producing groundnut seed variety CG7, and after just two years, her fortunes changed.
Speaking from the comfort of her newly constructed iron sheeted roofed house in Mchinji district, central Malawi, Malita recalls the inconveniences that came with living in a grass thatched house, especially during the rainy season.
“Whenever it rained at night, we would have to wake up and start moving food and other household items away from the leaking spots. It was such an inconvenient way of life. But since joining the ICRISAT supported farmer clubs, I have earned enough money to build a good iron-sheet roofed house which is supplied with solar powered electricity” said Malita.
For Malita, the groundnut Seed Revolving Fund has been life changing as it has enabled her to provide sufficient food for her family, a disposable income and a safe comfortable place in which to live.
Malita is just one of many smallholder farmers educated in the field of groundnut seed production for ICRISAT’s SRF which leads to a better quality of life through more profitable farming.