International Studies & Programs

Enhancing Legume-Maize-Fish Synergies and Adoption for Sustainable Livelihoods

In partnership with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources, this GCFSI faculty grant project aims to improve access to nutritious food and income generation by integrating fish farming in legume-maize farming systems.


Faculty Lead: Joshua Valeta

This project aims to improve access to nutritious food and income generation by integrating fish farming in legume-maize farming systems.

First, to achieve these objectives, soybean-maize-tilapia production technologies will be adapted through on-farm action research and on-station validation. Tilapia fish will be raised in small-scale fish ponds in the designated soybean-maize plots, to make legume-maize-fish models.

Second, portable soybean, maize and fish processing technologies will be adapted and used for processing farm produce into food products. Soybean and maize will also be processed into ingredients that will be used to produce fish feed. The quality of the products will be evaluated and validated at LUANAR.

Third, fish feed trials will be undertaken to compare the produced feed with conventional commercial feed in terms of fish performance and cost reduction. Compost formed from soybean-maize residue will be used to fertilize the fish ponds. The fish ponds will also be designed to allow flow of the fertile water to irrigate the legume and maize plots. Fifteen female farmers and 15 male farmers already growing soybean and maize will be targeted to designate plots for on-farm trials.

Overall, access to nutritious food (soybean, maize, fish and their value added products) will be improved, which will eventually improve food and nutrition security as well as diversify sources of income for fish and legume producing households. In the long term, resilience of the farming systems to climate change will be improved through increased availability of water from the ponds on the farm.

The project will be implemented through institutional partnerships between the Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Department, the Food Science and Technology (FST) Department at LUANAR, the Innovative Fish Farmers Network Trust (IFFNT) and Quantum for Urban Agriculture, Livelihoods and Environmental Sanitation for sustainability and scaling the results. Proposed location of the project are Mchinji, Dowa and Lilongwe Districts, Central Region, Malawi.