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Farmers' perceptions of the "Unleashing the Power of Cassava in Africa in Response to the Food Crisis" (UPoCA) project: Experiences from Malawi
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Department of Earth Sciences.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The “Unleashing the Power of Cassava in Africa in Response to the Food Price Crisis” (UPoCA) project carried out by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture from 2008 to 2010 aimed to assist farmers to increase food security and improve livelihoods through promoting cassava cultivation. In this study, 120 beneficiary households of the UPoCA project in Kasungu and Dowa provinces in Malawi were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire together with key informant interviews and focus group discussions. The aim was to find out their perceptions of the UPoCA project, food security situation and gendered differences, through which sustainability aspects of the project were discussed. Using the SPSS 19 software, descriptive statistics, chi-square tests and logistic regressions were generated for statistical results. In general, despite issues regarding quality and timeliness of the seed distribution service the majority of the beneficiary households were satisfied with the project stating that it helped improve their food security and livelihoods. However there emerged issues of exclusion of the most vulnerable households and the low participation of female-headed households which were initially targeted by the project. The study also found out the prevalence of seasonal hunger among the studied households and challenges facing the farmers in growing cassava which affect the adoption of the crop and the project’s sustainability. The study suggested that future similar projects should be designed for a longer duration than UPoCA. They should use clear criteria to identify target beneficiaries, exercise thorough monitoring on quality of distributed planting materials and time delivery as well as put more focus on training. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
sustainable development, UPoCA, Malawi, cassava, food security, seasonal hunger, perceptions
National Category
Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-171455OAI: diva2:510987
Educational program
Master Programme in Sustainable Development
2011-11-18, 09:00 (English)
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2012-06-05 Created: 2012-03-19 Last updated: 2012-06-05Bibliographically approved

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