The CLIM2 project was implemented in Southern Malawi. People live off less than 1 ha farms, low productivity and market offtake, and off-farm income opportunities too are limited. The linkages to income, and how diversified crop livestock systems and functional value chains can impact on-farm productivity, food security and nutrition, were not well understood.
To address such complex challenges the CLIM2 project adopted a food systems perspective and engaged stakeholders at local and national levels, with a focus on building human capacity, and facilitating interactions and collaborations, through value chains and with strong participation of women and youth.
Innovation Platforms for diagnostics, co-creation, action and feedback National policy dialogue, for buy-in, direction and support, and influence
Challenges that emerged during implementation included
1. Human capacity
Lack of common understanding, leading to lack of confidence, insufficient communication and coordination, and therefore ineffective implementation of potential solutions.
2. Infrastructure and ownership
Decisions were often dominated by influential actors, MSME perspectives needed to be considered, and supported by conflict mediation, to kick-start the economic activities.
3. Innovation brokering
Issues of capacity, representation and power needed facilitation, business coaching and working with actors at local and national levels to influence these
Collaborative processes that identified and implemented solutions
MSMEs as drivers of change, testing inclusive business models Linkages and feedback, stimulated by project interventions On-farm experiments, demonstrations and trainings
Lessons learned that can help stakeholders in Malawi to advance agri-businesses
- Improved knowledge of the system and agri-business linkages and improved collaboration with District level structures created trust, dedication and enthusiasm, lessons taken up by District Reform areas
- Linkages to national policy dialogue ensured regular interest by high level government, to advise project design and implementation, lessons informed the New National Livestock Development Policy
- Continuous capacity development of local actors and coordination among line Ministries and with stakeholders remains most crucial for meaningful impact and up-scaling business models.