In 2017, USAID funded a project called Feed the Future Malawi Ag Diversification Activity (AgDiv), which introduced Farmers to inoculant technology. Inoculants are bacteria that help fix atmospheric nitrogen in the soil – a technology approved by Government for use in legumes.
In its 2018 review, the project saw that farmers almost doubled their soybean harvest, thanks to the 489 free inoculants given to farmers. One farmers testimony says he used to harvest 40 bags of 50kg capacity but harvested 86 bags after he was given the inoculant.
The development gives hope to aspiring farmers who wish to participate in the trade of the product. Soybean is relied on for its versatile use, as it it not only food for people and livestock; soybean oil makes mayonnaise, biodiesel and many more. In the United States, corn exports in 2018 were overtaken by soybeans; a very strange and interesting development.
Malawi remains barely aware of this crop’s ability to boost the economy due to lack of better awareness and fear of the crop’s pests, which results into farmers opting to grow the much easier maize for trade.