Policy Note 21: Promoting Exports of Low-Aflatoxin Groundnut from Malawi

Malawi’s National Export Strategy is built on the premise that the promotion of exports and domestic value addition can contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction in a meaningful way. Groundnut shows particularly high potential because regional demand is strong and Malawi’s

Malawian groundnuts (Photo credit: Alan de Brauw/IFPRI 2014)

Malawian groundnuts (Photo credit: Alan de Brauw/IFPRI 2014)

farmers are already quite familiar with improved methods for growing the crop. In spite of institutional weaknesses that make exporting time consuming, groundnut exports volumes grew by 18 percent per year between 2004 and 2014. However, high levels of aflatoxin contamination threaten to disrupt these positive trends: 49 percent of groundnut sold in Malawi’s local markets and 60 percent of those sold in shops and supermarkets were found to have aflatoxin levels exceeding those considered safe for human consumption. This note explores the barriers to increasing Malawi’s access to low-aflatoxin export markets, the progress currently underway to this end, and gaps in knowledge needed to fully address and surmount the barriers. By Brent Edelman and Noora-Lisa Aberman, 2015 Click here to read and download.