Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

``KULIMA – More Income and Employment in Rural Areas of Malawi (MIERA)``

KULIMA MIERA has selected an initial group of value chains for promotion: cassava, groundnut, soybean, and sunflower. It offers technical assistance on all levels, from capacity development targeting beneficiaries in rural areas to supporting private sector partners and policy processes. With additional funding from the EU KULIMA – Promoting Farming in Malawi programme, activities were scaled up and three value chains (paprika/chilli, macadamia and rice) have been selected for further support from 2018 onwards. KULIMA MIERA departs from market opportunities, focusing on the down-stream part of the value chain (processing, market linkages and marketing) and has three main intervention areas:

Promotion of inclusive business models & stakeholder dialogue

KULIMA MIERA empowers smallholder farmers to deliver the required quantity and quality commodity that the (formal) market requires to substitute imports or tap into export markets. It supports committed companies to set up mutually beneficial and inclusive business relationships such as contract farming that provide input loans and extension packages. The programme also supports dialogue and networking platforms among value chain stakeholders.

Improving value chain services

KULIMA MIERA works hand in hand with strategic service providers to improve their service delivery and increase smallholder adoption of marketing services such as market information, storage and collateral finance as well as a transparent structured trading platform that often offers better prices. KULIMA MIERA also works with partners on the development and promotion of new types of services such as alternative input provision and financing mechanisms as part of their inclusive business and new marketing models.

Supporting the business capacity of farmers, Farmer Organisations (FOs) & MSMEs

Together with local training institutions and its private sector partners, KULIMA MIERA develops and delivers training and coaching packages for smallholder farmers, FOs and MSMEs. These packages are geared towards building business, organisational and management capacity, increase local value addition and marketing opportunities as well as developing and offering improved services to members and clients.

Photo above: 2017 Farmer Business School participants after graduation © GIZ

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Malawi's Contextual Challenge

Malawi’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. The vast majority of rural people are smallholder farmers or are engaged mostly in informal micro, small or medium sized enterprises (MSMEs). Given the very small landholdings, poor access to inputs, services and markets, rural households tend to focus on subsistence farming.

The low degree of market integration reduces opportunities to engage in value addition, be it through increasing productivity, processing of raw products or reaching better markets. As such, household and farm incomes remain low and chances for employment are limited.

The KULIMA – More Income and Employment in Rural Areas of Malawi (MIERA) programme has been designed to address these challenges applying an integrated value chain approach with the aim of increasing the income and employment opportunities for smallholder farmers and MSMEs, giving a special focus to women and the youths.


Results in Figures

Since 2015, KULIMA MIERA has supported more than 30,000 smallholder farmers and MSMEs to engage more actively in value addition and to be structurally integrated into value chains through inclusive business and marketing models:

Result One

Through KULIMA MIERA’s interventions about 900 jobs have already been created.


Result Two

21,000 smallholder farmers have reported an income increase.

Result Three

As part of the inclusive business model support, more than 400 marketing and contract farming agreements have been signed between partner lead companies and farmer organisations, linking farmers directly to better output markets and increasing their access to improved inputs and extension.

Result Four

KULIMA MIERA successfully conducts the GIZ Farmer Business School approach in Malawi. Together with its partners, the programme has trained around 22,000 smallholder farmers on farm economics, agribusiness and marketing skills. Participants introduced new farm business management practices such as record keeping or gross margin analysis and thereby reported income increase.

Result Five

More than 4,000 farmers have participated in the Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa (ACE) Marketing School. As a result, the uptake of structured trade services offered by the programme’s partner ACE improved.

Result Six

70 Farmer Organisations are enrolled in the FO Business Training and Coaching Cycle. Initial organisational and business development initiatives taken up by FOs include new investments by members into their organisations, organising bulk input purchasing, collective marketing and offering a variety of other business services to members.


Result Seven

Around 350 MSMEs have participated in the MSME Business Training and Coaching Loop and learned about better processing, business and marketing opportunities. As a result, they started to tap into new retail markets for their value-added products.

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Contact details

Yvonne Glorius

Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH
City Center, Ned Bank House, 2nd Floor
387 Lilongwe 3, Malawi
+265 (0) 99 893 8568
+265 (0) 88 402 6493