Degree Name



Plant and Wildlife Sciences


Life Sciences

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Eric Jellen

First Faculty Reader

Neil Hansen

Honors Coordinator

Craig Coleman


agriculture, international development, Malawi, oats, quinoa


This research project studied the germination and growth rates of oat and quinoa crops in Mtalimanja, Malawi. This project was part of a larger effort by General Mills and Brigham Young University researchers to increase the diversity and nutrient content of crops in impoverished countries worldwide. It was conducted from May to August 2017 during Malawi’s dry season. Tetraploid oats and quinoa, both modified to increase the protein content of harvested grains, were planted under three different soil conditions: unamended soil, soil mixed with composted chicken litter, and soil with surface-applied granular fertilizer. The research plots were watered daily except during electricity outages. Unamended soil plots experienced high initial growth but exhibited severe discoloration and stunting by the end of the study period. The plots treated with compost or fertilizer exhibited healthy growth. Locals responded positively to these crops, particularly the consumption of quinoa leaves, indicating potential success for their adoption as a dry-season crop in rural Malawian villages.