Adoption of integrated food-energy systems: improved cookstoves and pigeonpea in southern Malawi

Orr, A and Kambombo, B and Roth, C and Harris, D and Doyle, V (2015) Adoption of integrated food-energy systems: improved cookstoves and pigeonpea in southern Malawi. Experimental Agriculture, 51 (02). pp. 191-209. ISSN 1469-4441

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We analyse the adoption of an Integrated Food-Energy System (IFES) in southern Malawi. The IFES combined the improved cookstove (chitetezo mbaula in Chichewa), designed to reduce demand for fuelwood, with the pigeonpea variety Mthawajuni, which increased both food supply and supply of fuelwood from pigeonpea stems. Adoption of the improved cookstove was found to be higher among households that were better off and where women had greater control over decision-making. However, adoption of the IFES was not associated with reduced demand for fuelwood from forests and hills or reduced frequency of collection. IFES adopters might have high fuelwood consumption because they were better off, but fuelwood consumption in better-off households did not differ significantly between IFES adopters and non-adopters. Pigeonpea increased food supply for adopter households, including children aged less than five years. Consequently, the IFES has had mixed results, improving food supply but not reducing demand for fuelwood. Households ranked early maturity, fuelwood and yield as the three most important reasons for preferring Mthawajuni over other varieties of pigeonpea. The plant breeding programme for pigeonpea in Malawi should evaluate improved varieties not only for earliness and grain yield but also for the production of fuelwood. Improved varieties with desirable market traits have had limited success in the absence of reliable markets and price incentives.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: RP-Market Institutions and Policies
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food Energy Systems, Cookstoves, Pigeonpea, Malawi, Integrated Food-Energy Systems, IFES
Subjects: Mandate crops > Pigeonpea
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2016 05:13
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2018 04:06
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: We wish to thank the farm households that participated in the household survey, Said Silim and N.V.P.R. Ganga Rao for supplying information on pigeonpea, and three anonymous reviewers whose comments greatly improved the quality of this paper. The authors are responsible for all remaining errors and omissions.
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