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IMPROVING SOIL MANAGEMENT OPTIONS FOR WOMEN FARMERS IN MALAWI AND ZIMBABWE

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Authors: 
Twomlow, S.J. and Ncube, B.
Book
Publication Year: 
2001
Publisher Details: 
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
ISBN: 
92-9066-440-1
Report/Series/Bulletin Name: 
Improving Soil Management Options for Women Farmers in Malawi and Zimbabwe
Report/series/Bulletin Number: 
1

 


The collaborators' workshop held in September 2000 in Zimbabwe brought together stakeholders from Malawi, Zimbabwe, and UK, who actively participated in the Department for International Development (DFID)-supported project "Will women farmers invest in improving their soil fertility management? articipatory experimentation in a risky environment." The objectives of the workshop were to review and discuss the project results achieved during the 1999/2000 cropping season, assess how these results contributed to the project outputs, and agree work plans that better target the needs of women farmers in the activities during the following seasons. Areas reviewed include the baseline economic surveys conducted in Zimbabwe and Malawi; results from field trials using a variety of on-farm approaches; and the on-farm approaches themselves. These approaches ranged from traditional researcher-managed onfarm trials looking at the interactions between nitrogen fertilizer and weeding, through to newer farmer participatory research (FPR) methods aimed at improving the interaction between the farmer and researcher. The FPR approaches include the mother-baby trial concept developed in Malawi to test the researcher-identified 'best bets' for soil fertility options under farmer-managed, farmer-led, researcher-designed trials to investigate legumes and manures, and interactions between FPR and crop simulation modeling. Based on the reviews and discussion of results, work plans for the 2000/01 season were enhanced to ensure the activities for each group of stakeholders contributed to the project outputs.
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