The project aims to improve soybean productivity and marketing, contributing to the economic welfare of small farmers and processors in Malawi and Mozambique where the small holder sector commands more than 90% of soybean production. The project started in September 2011.
In Malawi, four soybean varieties were evaluated. Soybean seed production in 2013 nearly doubled the target of 20 ton for that year. In total 164 lead farmers (30% women) were trained to enhance capacity building in soybean grain production. Around 135 nutrition change agents were trained in nutrition and household soybean processing, reaching out to more than 1,200 farmer club members. Sixteen soy-based recipes were introduced. Two medium scale pilot processing plants were established for food and feed. Commercial links between farmers, processors and the private sector are being fostered and an innovation platform was organized to discuss achievements, challenges and the way forward.
In Mozambique, five soybean varieties were evaluated. Soybean seed production in 2013 nearly doubled the target of 40 ton for that year. A nutrition baseline survey, among lactating mothers and their children under the age of 2 years, indicated high levels of protein-energy malnutrition. More than 9,000 child caregivers (m/w) attended nutrition education activities demonstrating the utilization of soybean in ten local recipes. Although soybean is considered as a male cash crop in Mozambique, more than 300 women started to grow soybean for home consumption. The project contributed to the establishment of 87 home processing units with profits ranging from USD 100-360 per month. Five threshing units have been established by farmers, earning an average of USD 1,000 per month. A business plan was developed for a cooperative for baking of soybean- based food products. An innovation platform has been formed to involve all players in the soybean value chain.