International Studies & Programs

Solar-Powered Maize-Pigeon Pea Processing Centers for Better Markets in Central Malawi

In partnership with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources, this GCFSI faculty grant project aims to improve access to markets and increase incomes for smallholder maize-legume farmers via the introduction of maize-legume processing technologies that will improve the quality of maize and legumes and reduce the levels of aflatoxins in maize.


Faculty Lead: Hankie Uluko

This project aims to improve access to markets and increase incomes for smallholder maize-legume farmers via the introduction of maize-legume processing technologies that will improve the quality of maize and legumes, and reduce the levels of aflatoxins in maize.

The project is founded on the knowledge that high levels of aflatoxin recorded in smallholder maize harvest has severely limited access to both domestic and export markets. In an effort to improve quality and standards of smallholder legumes, the Agricultural Engineering Department of LUANAR has developed several processing equipment with potential to reduce post-harvest losses, improve the quality of maize and legumes, and reduce the levels of aflatoxins in maize.

This project will test and validate the effectiveness of the different technologies designed at LUANAR in reducing postharvest losses, increasing quality, and reducing aflatoxin levels in maize. The processing technologies have been designed to use solar power, thereby making them environmentally friendly.

Increased availability of good quality grains will increase market access, increase sales, increase incomes. Increased consumption of legumes is also likely to have some positive impacts on nutrition. The project will initially be implemented in Dedza and Ntcheu in the Central Region of Malawi, with strong potential to expand to other locations in the country.