|Title||Livelihoods of cassava farmers in the context of HIV/AIDS in northern Malawi|
|Source||Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arnold van Huis; J.L.S. Jiggins. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085855446 - 202|
Laboratory of Entomology
|Publication type||Dissertation, internally prepared|
|Keyword(s)||cassave - boeren - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - sociale gevolgen - plantenziekten - insectenplagen - houding van boeren - malawi - middelen van bestaan - farmer field schools - cassava - farmers - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - social impact - plant diseases - insect pests - farmers' attitudes - malawi - livelihoods - farmer field schools|
|Categories||Agriculture in Africa / Rural Development|
|Abstract||Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa with a high population density and HIV prevalence. Most smallholder farmers grow maize as a staple, which is highly dependent on the uni-modal rainfall and off-farm inputs. The ‘New Variant Famine’ hypothesis argues that AIDS has aggravated food insecurity and stimulated cassava production because of lower labour demand in cultivation. The Farmer Field School (FFS) was introduced to support small-scale farmers, but its relevance to the Malawian context has been challenged. This study examined the ‘New Variant Famine’ hypothesis and the FFSs on cassava in northern Malawi. Participants and non-participants of cassava FFSs were interviewed on their crop management. The survey showed that although farmers recognised visible pest and diseases, they did not take action. Cultural controls are hardly used. Their participation in FFSs did not have a major impact. Curriculum design was found crucial in gaining farmers’ interest. Individual life history data and analysis of genealogical information indicated that AIDS is perceived as only one in the continuum of risks facing subsistence cassava growers. Perception of AIDS is changing, under the influence of social organisations that have emerged to offer community-level support. This suggests that increased programming effort would help small-scale farmers develop stronger ‘social immunity’ in coping with threats to their food security.