Systematic Analysis of Groundnut Production, Processing and Marketing in Malawi


June 24, 2018 - Christone J. Nyondo, Flora J. Nankhuni and Nathalie Me-Nsope

Christone J. Nyondo, Flora J. Nankhuni and Nathalie Me-Nsope, 2018. Systematic Analysis of Groundnut Production, Processing and Marketing in Malawi, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 64. East Lansing: Michigan State University


  • Groundnut productivity is very low due to farmers’ inability to economically access certified seed and follow recommended agronomic practices.
  • The groundnut seed market in Malawi is underdeveloped partly due to weak effective demand for improved seed. The low demand for certified seed is also partly caused by the dual problem of high seed rate in groundnuts (80 – 100 kgs needed per ha, depending on variety) and low seed multiplication ratio.
  • The formal output market system is also underdeveloped with less than 1% of total traded groundnuts being marketed through structured markets – contributing to low production and productivity as it fails to avail farmers the opportunity to sell at high lean season prices.
  • Aflatoxin contamination is a major problem affecting peoples’ health and lucrative markets access. Studies show that 6,344 deaths in Malawi can be attributed to aflatoxin-induced liver cancer. These deaths are estimated to cost the Malawi economy between US$25 million to US$1.3 billion annually (excluding costs associated with lost export markets).
  • For Malawi groundnut value chain to be up-scaled, heavy investments are needed in the seed and extension systems. Varieties developed need to target Malawi manufacturing sector and export markets demands. Heavy investments in aflatoxin contamination control are also needed.
  • Malawi also needs to explore and take full advantage of regional export markets and invest to formalize and regulate the existing large informal regional export market.



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