Integrated Soil Fertility Management in Malawi

A Randomised Control Trial of the Anchor Farm Model

With funding of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), ISFM-Malawi aims to support the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) in their scale-up of the Anchor Farm Project (AFP) . This project aims to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes and productivity through the adoption of Integrated Soil Fertility and Management Practices (ISFM). ISFM provides potential solutions to increasing smallholder productivity, but to date, little information exists on how to implement these solutions. Knowledge of the cost-effectiveness of the numerous AFP components, such as farmer field-days, farmer-led demonstration plots, and the creation of novel output markets, will enable stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to make evidence-based decisions.  

We conduct this evaluation through a Randomized Controlled Design study that ran from 2014 until 2019, in which some villages, randomly selected, receive the certain components of the Anchor Farm Project, while others do not. Using base, mid and end-line surveys, we established the short and medium terms impacts of these various AFP components.