Impact of Gliricidia Fertilizer Tree Technology on Smallholder Farmers Economic Livelihood in Malawi: Case of Kasungu District

  •  Wisdom Richard Mgomezulu    
  •  Abdi-Khalil Edriss    
  •  Kennedy Machila    


Agriculture plays a huge role in farmer’s livelihoods in Africa. With the adverse effect of climate change on agricultural productivity, developing agricultural technologies that are adaptive to climate change is one of the perquisites for agricultural development. Gliricidia intercropping is one of the climate smart agricultural innovations; that is being promoted by most researchers. Gliricidia intercropping has many benefits. Despite evidence of such benefits, there exists some missing literature on the impact of Gliricidia intercropping on farmer’s economic livelihoods. The study used cross sectional data collected by ICRAF in Kasungu district which sampled 406 households and employed a Propensity Score Matching method to analyze the effect of Gliricidia intercropping on smallholder farmer’s incomes. Results showed that among the observable factors used to match participants and non-participants, hired labour, age, education level, soil type, perception of soil fertility and access to extension services significantly affected participation in Gliricidia intercropping. The Average Treatment Effect on the Treated showed that Gliricidia intercropping improves the economic livelihoods of farmers by increasing household monthly income by MWK 38,565.83 ($54) at 1 percent significant level. The study went further to conduct sensitivity analysis using the Rosenbaum bounds, and found that unobserved heterogeneity has to increase the odds ratio of participating in Gliricidia intercropping by 10-60 percent before it can negate the estimated ATT. The study then recommends promoting the adoption of Gliricidia intercropping by capitalizing on the factors that influence participation or adoption of Gliricidia intercropping in order to improve smallholder farmers’ incomes and hence their livelihoods.

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