Partenariat mondial sur les sols

Soils for Nutrition project

National project partners from the Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) hosted the Soils for Nutrition-sensitive Agriculture project team, which included representatives from Department of Land Resources and Conservation (DLRC), FAO Malawi and FAO Rome, for a visit at Chitedze Agriculture Research Station on 23 January 2020. Also visiting were GeoNutrition project team members from Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), University of Nottingham and the British Geological Survey (BGS). 


DARS provided a tour of the Chitedze laboratories and field facilities and convened a meeting between the two project teams to promote collaboration between the two initiatives which have similar objectives, fundamentally, to improve the nutritional quality of locally produced food through agro-biofortification. The following day, the Soils for Nutrition team also visited LUANAR, Bunda College, to see the facilities and meet various staff working on the GeoNutrition project.

The FAO team also visited Never Ending Food, just outside Lilongwe, to see an example of sustainability (including soil management) for nutrition-sensitive agriculture at work. Kristof showed the team around his family home that practices and promotes permaculture to produce healthy, local, seasonal and nutritious food. Managing soil health through recycling nutrients and water are central aspects to permaculture, as well as growing perennial and annual trees and crops to meet nutritional requirements over the whole year and in such a way to make the most of the landscape.  

The Soils for Nutrition project will set up pilot sites to test and demonstrate the effects of sustainable soil management practices, such as intercropping and integrated fertility management, on micronutrient contents in the edible parts of crops including maize and soybean. Potential health outcomes for the surrounding communities will also be assessed by looking at their consumption patterns of these staple foods and calculating additional micronutrient intake. The Soils project will also link with other FAO initiatives in Malawi, including KULIMA and Afikepo, to undertake capacity development activities on all aspects of nutrition-sensitive agriculture including soil and agronomy management for farmers as well as education on dietary diversity and hygiene for community members.