Cash Crops in Malawi

An Interview with Gracious Msimuko

Cash crops are any crops planted for the purpose of selling for profit. But who grows cash crops in Malawi? What are the best cash crops for the climate and soil? Which are  most profitable? We interviewed Orant’s Agriculture Extension Officer Gracious Msimuko for expert insight. 

Who should grow cash crops in Malawi?

Anyone can grow cash crops. However, due to scarcity of land, certified seeds, etc., cash crops are mostly grown by big-scale commercial farmers. Small-scale farmers mostly grow food crops. Small-scale farmers do grow cash crops, too, but on small scales.  

What are the best cash crops in Malawi?

The best cash crops are soya beans and groundnuts. They do well in many weather conditions in our country. They also have readily available markets for both small-scale and big-scale farmers. These crops can be cultivated without chemical fertilizers. They can also easily be processed into nutritious food in villages without complicated processes.

More on cash crop options here.

Which crops in Malawi are most profitable?

Groundnuts are probably the most profitable crops since they can be processed into other products like peanut butter, cooking oil, and groundnut flour. People even like eating groundnuts unprocessed or roasted, which is also highly nutritious. 

Which Malawian cash crops are easiest to grow?

Soya beans are easier to grow than groundnuts. They have fewer processes in production.

Guide to Malawi Groundnut Production here. 

Any tips for farmers who would like to make a profit from their crop yield?

For someone to make a profit, they need to start with good agricultural practices. These include crop rotation, good choice of seed varieties, early planting, early weeding, pest control, scouting the field, and harvesting in good time to minimize post harvest losses. Farmers also need to practice budgeting and work plans. This will help them know whether they will make a profit or loss. Due to the small quantities that smallholder farmers produce, we encourage them to start or join a farming group/cooperative. Cooperatives help them market their produce in groups. In groups, collective bargaining ensures better prices.

How does Orant utilize or encourage the growing of cash crops?

Orant supports small-scale farmers. We search for good markets, identify good seed varieties, and teach best practices through demonstrations and field days. 

To learn more about Orant’s Agriculture & Business Program…

The Orant Journal