Journal of Undergraduate Research


self reliance, nutrition, subsistence farming, agriculture


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Malawi has the eighth smallest GDP per capita out of all the countries in the world (CIA World Factbook 2014). The large majority of Malawians rely on subsistence farming to survive in the midst of poor circumstances. The School of Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI) equips these subsistence farmers with the necessary skills to become self reliant. Self reliance is the idea that families can support an independent lifestyle in the long term, even during unforeseen circumstances. Through training on various subjects, farmers learn the necessary skills to reach this ultimate goal. This research focused on evaluating the success of the program and determining how farmers’ lives improved as they became more self reliant. I specifically sought to determine whether increased self reliance led to better nutritional status. I hypothesized that there would be no significant positive relationship between self reliance and nutrition. As farmers become more self reliant, they will choose to use their resources for material goods or forms of entertainment rather than more nutritious foods.

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