• Groundnut (Arachis hypogaea) is an important legume crop in the smallholder agriculture in Malawi , providing approximately 25% of the agricultural income.Groundnut is an important component of the national food supply.
  • Groundnut is an important component of the national food supply. It does not only have nutritional and dietary value, groundnut also provides cash to farmers; enrich the soil with nitrogen through biological nitrogen fixation; and its haulms can be used as fodder and fuel. Groundnut also forms an important component of both rural and urban diet through its provision of valuable protein, edible oil, fats, energy, minerals, and vitamins.
  • This crop is consumed as such or roasted (more than 32% of supply) or processed into oil (about 52% of supply). In livestock-farming communities, groundnut can be used as a source of livestock feed and increases livestock productivity as the groundnut haulm and seed cake are rich in digestible crude protein content
  • Groundnut in Malawi is grown for export, oil extraction and local use such as roasting and as an additive to vegetable dishes. They are important for smallholder agriculture and for the national diet in Malawi; they contribute significantly to dietary requirements in most parts of the country and provide more than 25% of all smallholder income


  • CG7, ICGV-SM 90704 (Nsinjiro),
  • JL 24 (Kakoma),
  • IGC 12991 (Baka).
  • Chalimbana,
  • Chitembana,
  • Mawanga,
  • Manipintar
  • RG 1


Although produced in the entire country, the central and southern Agricultural Development Divisions (ADDs) of Kasungu, Lilongwe, Kasungu, Machinga, and Blantyre are the major production areas.

Groundnuts grow best in well-drained, red-coloured, yellow-red and red, fertile, sandy to sandy loam soils. Saline soils are not suitable because groundnuts have a very low salt tolerance.

Production Level




Malawi’s Domestic Production


Year Production Level
2009          275,176.00
2010          297,487.00
2011          325,215.00
2012          268,081.00
2013          380,800.00
average          309,351.80
  • Malawi produces an average of 310,000 tonnes per annum.
  • Groundnut production in Malawi over the past 5 years has generally been on an increasing trend


 Malawi's Groundnuts Production



Global Production of Groundnuts
  • Global production of groundnuts for 2009-2013 averages 41.2 million tonnes per annum
  • Global production of groundnuts is taking a slight increasing trend with no significant fluctuations in production
  • Malawi’s share of production in the world accounts for about 8% of total production
           Malawi's Production Share in World Production  
Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
World Production    37,149,693      42,728,784      40,573,654      40,475,312      45,225,332
Malawi          275,176          297,487          325,215          268,081          380,800
Malawi's Share 7.4% 7.0% 8.0% 6.6% 8.4%

Malawi vs World Production   Groundnuts 



  • Malawi ranks on position 17 in the world production of groundnuts, and position 10 in Africa.
 Malawi vs Africa Prouction   Groundnus



Productivity and Consumption




  • Malawi produces on average 310,000 tonnes of groundnuts 317,000 hectares of land
  • Groundnut productivity in Malawi is therefore at 980kgs per hectare
  • However productivity was above 1,000kg/ha during the 2009 -13 period, except in 2012 where it declined to 750kg/ha
  • Malawi’s average productivity is higher than that of Africa (940kg/ha) but is lower than the world productivity (1,660kg/ha)




Table 1. Domestic Consumption of Groundnuts in Malawi

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
World Production 37.1 mil 38.5 mil 37.1 mil 42.7 mil 40.6 mil 40.5 mil 45.2 mil
Groundnuts production (in tonnes) 261,810 243,215 275,176 297,487 325,215 268,081 380,800
Groundnuts imports (in tonnes) 171 112 98 375 2675 0 0
Groundnuts exports (in tonnes) 15,416 14,322 20,028 21,938 33,607 42,134 47,247
Estimate of domestic consumption (in tonnes) 246565 229005 255246 275924 294283 225947 333553
  • Domestic consumption of Groundnuts for Malawi stands at 91%. This shows there is high local demand of the product. This means that 0.7% of total production of groundnuts is consumed in Malawi
  • Exports of groundnuts account for about 9% of the total production.
  • Major export destinations for Malawi are Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.





  • Poor storage techniques lead to large losses before crops can be brought to market.
  • Smallholder farmers use inefficient production techniques meaning that they experience low yields comparable to what is possible.
  • New seed varieties, developed by ICRISAT, offer large yield improvements but experience low take up due to their upfront expense.
  • Inability to control Aflatoxin levels (a carcinogenic fungus which grows on groundnuts), preventing them from exporting to the EU.


  • Widely grown and adaptable to numerous environments, Groundnuts are an easily scalable crop.
  • There is potential for value addition for groundnuts by converting them into oil.
  • Global demand for groundnuts is growing, both for the nuts themselves and for the oil that they can be used to produce•

Key Producers




Off African Unity Drive
City Centre
PO Box 30716

Contact Person: Mr. A. Chikapula

Commercial Manager

Email: achikapula@nasfam.org


       Exagris Africa Ltd
       PO Box 3291



     Contact person: Mr. Thindwa

     Tel: 01755053 /054/055

Auction Holdings Commodity Exchange

     P.O Box 40035,


     Lilongwe 4.


     Contact Person: Mr Manyenje

     Tel: 01753032

Mulli Brothers Group Limited

     Private Bag 5148





     Contact Person: Mr. Mulli

     Tel: +2651657213/255/051

Agricultural Commodity Exchange

       P.O Box 40139

       Lilongwe 4


       Contact person :Mr Kantikana