Farmer experiences of Tiyeni’s ‘deep-bed farming’ conservation agriculture system in Malawi

Albert Mvula, Alan Dixon* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the context of increasing NGO interest in the capacity of conservation agriculture methods to support sustainable agriculture across sub-Saharan Africa, this paper explores the experiences of farmers (n = 111) adopting the Tiyeni NGO’s deep-bed farming (DBF) system in northern Malawi. The results of a field survey suggest that whilst DBF delivers significant livelihood benefits for farmers relative to traditional techniques (a factor arguably driving its rapid spontaneous adoption throughout the area), some asset-poor farmers are unable to sustain DBF due to its labor demands. We argue that to widen its beneficial impacts in a manner that can be sustained, there is a need for Tiyeni’s DBF to be less prescriptive and more adaptive to specific social-ecological contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-196
JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020


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