Malawi remains one of the poorest countries in the world despite making significant economic and structural reforms to sustain economic growth. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, employing nearly 80% of the population, and it is vulnerable to external shocks, particularly climatic shocks.
Malawi accounts for 3 percent of the world’s macadamia nut output and is the third largest producer in Africa of macadamia, which has higher earning potential than other crops. But for many smallholders, seedlings are too expensive. They also require patience: It takes five years from the time a macadamia nut tree seedling is planted to its first production of nuts.
Global Tea, one of Malawi’s top macadamia producers, as well as the country’s largest coffee producer, saw an opportunity to help small-scale farmers in Malawi improve their livelihoods while also securing more macadamia nut output to meet consumers’ demand. Once participants are selected for Global Tea’s project, each farmer receives 100 seedlings. Along with those seedlings comes coaching throughout the planting and growing process as the farmers learn to manage their farm like a business. Finally, once the trees produce nuts, Global Tea guarantees the farmers a buyer for their production.
Half of the farmers in the program are women, ensuring that men and women both benefit from the opportunity to double their income. The project is expected to improve the lives of 3,000 families.
GAFSP Coordination Unit: