MSc thesis opportunity - Sustainable intensification of smallholder soybean farming in Kasungu district, Malawi

April 17, 2024


Soybean has become an important crop in the farming systems of central Malawi including in the Kasungu district. The expansion of soybean production in Kasungu is relatively recent and follows a gradual decline in tobacco production. There have been different projects, including the CGIAR’s Excellence in Agronomy (EiA) initiative, supporting soybean production intensification through on-farm experimentation and the dissemination of new technologies, such as new varieties, new planting practices, and fertilizer advisory.

Previous research has identified numerous hindrances to smallholder farmers’ adoption of intensification technologies. For instance, smallholders often lack the resources, notably the additional capital and labour that new technologies often require, to take on the new technologies. For our project that aims to better understand the (potential) impact of sustainable intensification innovations on diverse soybean-growing farm types, we are looking for an MSc student who is interested in technology adoption in smallholder farming systems in Africa.

Together with the PPS Ph.D. researcher and the EiA team in Malawi, the MSc student will develop a research project to explore the adaptability of different intensification technologies (soya seed varieties, planting practices, etc.) by smallholder farms that are different in terms of their capacity to mobilize capital and labour. The project can build on existing farm household survey data and results[NH1], but will also involve the development and the execution of fieldwork in the Kasungu district, using methods like observations, farmer interviews, focus group discussions, and fuzzy cognitive mapping.


December 2024 (3 or 5 months)

Contact: (PhD researcher),