Women in Linthpe, Malawi, prepare a meal and process maize. Processing is undertaken collectively by children and adults. Photo: Erin Anders.
A farmer in Kandeu, Malawi, presents a particularly annoying pest of pigeon pea. The insect eats the stamen off of the pigeon pea flowers. The impact of this pest on pigeon pea crop yields is unknown. Photo: Erin Anders.
A farmer, right, describes the layout of her experimental plots to Anders and Isaac Jambo. Anders is a doctoral student in the Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences. Jambo is an enumerator who translates and administers surveys for the study. Photo: Vicki Morrone.
A farmer harvests a field of cowpea in Golomoti, Malawi. Farmers there often plant maize and cowpea in the same field, a process called intercropping. Photo: Erin Anders.
A surveyor, left, interviews a farmer in Nsipe, Malawi, about his cropping system in a field of harvested maize. Photo: Erin Anders.
A farmer in Golomoti, Malawi, explains to a surveyor the spacing between plants in a pigeon pea plot. Knowing the spacing of these crops helps researchers understand the plant density. Photo: Erin Anders.
Grace Lega sits in one of her pigeon pea plots in Kandeu, Malawi. She has four plots, and is experimenting with different methods of growing the plant. Photo: Erin Anders.
Chawezi Theu interviews a farmer in Golomoti, Malawi, about crop and soil care for pigeon pea. Pigeon pea, seen here in bush form, is grown as a perennial and used for fuel, fodder, food and to improve soil quality. Photo: Erin Anders.
Anders shells ground nuts with farmers in Nsipe, Malawi. Photo: Isaac Jambo.
Click upper left image to start slide show.
Text: Kasey Worst
Images: Erin Anders, Vicki Morrone, Isaac Jambo
Before she left to do research for the Global Center for Food Systems Innovations in Malawi, Erin Anders’ professor told her a saying from that country:
“Maize is life.”
It is a phrase Anders said she did not understand then. But after spending May through August of 2014 in the
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