Policy Note 24: Have market policies turned Malawi’s large-scale farmers into subsistence maize producers?

In the last two decades, food security policy in Malawi has focused on enhancing the maize productivity of smallholder farmers, primarily through the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP). While this has raised maize yields, production shocks, such as droughts and floods, continue to result in wide-spread food insecurity in the country. In 2014/15, for example, a delayed onset of the rainy season, coupled with dry spells and flooding in different parts of the country, reduced maize production by about 30 percent, resulting in 2.8 million people requiring emergency food assistance.  This policy note explores the potential for large-scale production of maize by the private sector within Malawi to help improve food security.

By Brent Edelman, Athur Mabiso, Zephania Nyirenda, Cynthia Kazembe, 2016

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