A participatory pilot project was initiated in 2000 by a hospital in northern Malawi, in collaboration with Canadian and Malawian researchers. The Soils, Food and Healthy Communities (SFHC) project aims to improve the health, food security and soil fertility of resource poor households in the region around Ekwendeni in Northern Malawi through participatory research that tests legume systems and uses an ecosystem approach to understanding linkages between food security and health.
The project involves experimental agricultural on-farm trials, nutrition and agricultural education, community activities and farmer exchanges. The project reaches out to a catchment area of 70 000 people in the region.
In collaboration with agricultural, nutritional and social scientists, hospital staff identified ‘best bet legume options’ that might improve soil fertility, food security and child nutrition for smallholder farmers in Malawi.