Malawi is the world’s most tobacco-dependent economy, generating approx. 50% of its export revenue from this crop in 2012, but percentage is declining. The government has realized, that switching to other crops is essential for the country, and supports amongst others the cultivation of legumes.

The German development agency GIZ promotes the transition to soybeans, groundnuts, sunflower and cassava in a programme which started in Malawi end of 2014 and continues to 2024. The programme aims to raise agricultural productivity, income and value addition in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable way.[1] But as sunflower yields remained relatively low and the potential is limited, GIZ dropped sunflowers from their programme in 2018.

Soybeans, for example, are important as a low-cost source of protein for meals in schools and hospitals. Furthermore, they are used as animal feed in poultry.[2]

Sunflowers are used to locally produce cooking oil and long-life margarine, while sunflower seeds and oil is also exported to some extent.[2]

Read here our case study Legumes and Sunflower in Malawi.