International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

BSF Project - Fourth Cycle

Harnessing dryland legume and cereal genetic resources for food and nutrition security and resilient farming systems in Malawi and Zambia
Overview
Where will we work?
This Benefit-sharing project will be implemented in districts in Malawi and Zambia that are characterized by high levels of food and nutrition insecurity owing to climate challenges, economic marginalization and lack of access to inputs, markets, and technical knowledge. Grain legumes and dryland cereals have a promising role to play as food and cash crops, in the enhancement of community resilience and livelihoods in this region.

What will we do?
  • Develop climate smart agriculture packages for arid and semi-arid areas and promote crops that serve as sources of proteins and micronutrients;
  • Build capacity of smallholder farmers to conserve and sustainably use adapted varieties for food and nutrition security and for income generation;
  • Disseminate improved resilient varieties;
  • Strengthen national policy regarding the Treaty’s Multilateral Sytem, and contribute to the policies governing germplasm flows and access to plant genetic resources for food and agriculture by farmers;
  • Training of researchers, young scientists and farmers to address seed system gaps.

What is expected to be achieved?
The project will enhance resilience to climate shocks and improve livelihoods by diversifying farming and supporting farmers in on-farm conservation of agrobiodiversity. Improved varieties and technologies will be disseminated for food and nutrition security. Farmers will be trained to produce Quality Declared Seed of adapted grain legumes and dry land cereals, and the technical capacity of the scientific community will be enhanced through their involvement in project activities. Moreover, the project will contribute to an enabling environment for Treaty implementation by developing national strategies, and strengthening partnerships and collaboration amongst stakeholders in Zambia and Malawi.

Who will benefit?
A total of 3,000 farmers – 1,500 in Malawi and 1,500 in Zambia – will directly benefit from project implementation. At least half of all participating partners will be women. Further, five young researchers and 50 experts in different segments of the value chain will benefit from pre-breeding products, high quality advisory services, training and access to yield-enhancing innovations. Additionally, technical staff from the collaborating National Agricultural Research Systems in Malawi and Zambia, agribusinesses, field extension staff and seed companies will benefit from training programmes. Women will make up 50% of all participants across project implementation activities. Another 2,000 farmers or more will benefit indirectly from enhanced access to high quality seed and market development.
Crops
Finger Millet, Groundnuts, Pigeon Pea, Sorghum
Region: Africa
Target Countries: Malawi, Zambia
Implementing institution: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Malawi

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