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Msamala Sustainable Energy Project


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Testing Integrated Food Energy Systems: Improved Stoves and Pigeon Pea in Southern Malawi

This document belongs to the Socioeconomics Discussion Paper Series; Paper Number 8 - it was prepared as part of the CGIAR Research programme on Dryland Cereals.

Authors: Alastair Orr, Blessings Kabombo, Christa Roth, Dave Harris, Vincent Doyle

Published: International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (lCRISAT), in Nairobi on 10 October 2013.

Executive Summary

Between 2007-2010 Concern, Universal distributed energy-efficient stoves to 9,000 smallholders in Balaka district, southern Malawi, as part of Msamala Sustainable Energy Project (MSEP) funded by the European Union. Households that purchased a stove each received a gift of 3 kg of pigeonpea seed for the variety Mthawajuni, which produces thick and bushy stems. In combination, energy-efficient stoves and pigeonpea formed an Integrated Food Energy System (IFES) that can reduce demand for fuel-wood, increase the supply of fuel-wood from pigeonpea stems, and improve household food security and nutrition by providing pigeonpea grain. This report summarises the results of an evaluation of this IFES.

A household survey was conducted in the 2010/11 cropping season to determine the impacts on demand for fuel-wood, household food security, cash income, and on soil health and fertility. The results are based on a random sample of 230 households from seven villages in Balaka district, comprising 115 households that purchased an energy-efficient stove, and a control group of 115 households using traditional stoves. The survey covered a period of three cropping seasons between 2008/09 and 2010/11.

Food security: Between 60-70% of pigeonpea, grain harvested was kept for home consumption. The average quantity consumed was 40 kg/household. Among households growing pigeonpea, nine in ten households fed the grain to children under five compared to only two in ten households that did not grow pigeonpea.

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