USAID Malawi Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains Fact Sheet


Feed the Future (FTF)  is the U.S. Government’s global initiative to sustainably reduce poverty and hunger. USAID/Malawi’s flagship FTF activity, Integrating Nutrition in Value Chains (INVC), strengthens the competiveness of the soy and groundnut value chains, improves the nutritional status of women and children, and builds the capacity of Malawian agriculture and nutrition organizations.  

INVC’s approach encourages value chain innovations that increase productivity and help farmers earn higher incomes.  At the same time, it promotes consumption of highly nutritious soy and groundnuts, and builds community capacity to prevent under-nutrition.  INVC targets smallholder farmers in seven districts in Southern and Central Malawi.

Malawi - agriculture - soybeans - woman
A woman cleans her soybean harvest by hand.
Michael Makina, INVC-Malawi


In 2014, INVC reached more than 286,000 rural households with agriculture and nutrition interventions.  INVC promoted legume production, marketing, and household consumption, assisting more than 67,000 smallholder farmers to plant soy, and helping connect them to growing domestic and regional markets for this high-demand commodity, while also teaching household processing of nutritious soy-based foods.  In 2014, total production of soy in the target districts was 57% higher than the 2012 baseline.  
INVC also assisted more than 136,000 groundnut farmers with access to certified seed and training in improved crop and land management, control of aflatoxin contamination, collective marketing, market access, and household processing and increased consumption of groundnuts.  Groundnut production in the target districts was 19% higher than in 2012.  INVC also helped unlock $6.3 million in agriculture financing through the Agricultural Commodity Exchange.  This included bridging finance, a warehouse receipt system, and forward contracts.  Moreover, INVC leveraged $1.47 million in private sector investment in agriculture, largely in storage infrastructure.
INVC has established 537 Care Groups that use community volunteers to deliver messages on infant and young child feeding, basic hygiene and sanitation, and maternal diet and health practices to about 99,000 households twice a month.  To reinforce these messages, INVC also includes community drama performances on issues such as dietary diversity, maternal nutrition, and exclusive breastfeeding, and develops and airs radio jingles and programs on these topics.  INVC also uses local farmers’ organizations and its network of volunteer Lead Farmers to spread the idea of “sell some, save some” of farmer’s soy and groundnut production, encouraging additional home consumption of both, which will result in improved nutrition.


Key Message

When market-led value chain development is integrated with nutrition-related behavior change, rural household incomes will increase, and the nutritional status of women and children will improve.

Funding (FY14)

$26.6 million over 5 years


Prime: Development Alternatives, Inc.


  • Save the Children
  • Michigan State University
  • National Association of Smallholder Farmers of Malawi
  • Farmers Union of Malawi
  • Catholic Development Commission in Malawi
  • Nkhoma Synod
  • International Institute for Tropical Agriculture
  • Pakachere Institute of Health and
  • Development Communication
  • Agricultural Commodity Exchange for Africa
  • Civil Society Agriculture Network

Geographic Location

Mchinji, Lilongwe, Dedza, Ntcheu, Balaka, Machinga and Mangochi

USAID Contact

Lynn Schneider


Website: ‌‌‌agriculture-and-food-security


Last updated: March 17, 2015

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