Barbara Adolph via web
In Malawi, the SIRAF team has been talking to farmers from case study households about their choices of crops. Most farmers in Mwansambo Extension Planning Area grow maize and groundnuts for food and cash. But soils are poor and rainfall has been erratic - so cassava is becoming more popular with farmers (even though it is not the most preferred food crop). SIRAF is exploring farmers' decisions on sustainable intensification of agriculture, and what factors influence them. Climate change, prices of inputs, and households' productive assets (in particular labour and implements) are obviously having an impact on farmers' choices, but farmers' longer term visions and aspirations also influence how resources are allocated. One farmer sold his draught animals (oxen) to pay school fees for his children - who are now able to support him financially with remittances. The family was ready to cope with the loss of an important asset in order to invest in better future for their children and themselves - a gamble, but in this case it worked out.