About MaSSP

Vegetables displayed by sellers at the Zomba market

Local market, IFPRI/Julia Behrman, 2010

While Malawi has made progress in recent years, it still ranks among the world’s least developed countries.  The country has experienced strong per capita GDP growth, averaging around 3.5 percent per annum from 2005-2011. However, despite this strong growth, poverty has only decreased from 52.4 percent to 50.7 percent since 2005, according to official estimates. Furthermore, although progress has been made in recent years, undernutrition remains a challenge with a stunting prevalence of 37 percent of children under five.

Agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of the population. Thus, growth in agriculture, particularly in smallholder-based agriculture, is critical to meeting the country’s food security and poverty reduction goals.

The IFPRI Malawi Strategy Support Program (MaSSP) works closely with the Malawian government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), Department of Agricultural Planning Services (DAPS), to support these goals and facilitate and promote evidenced-based dialogue and decision-making, by providing both technical and analytical support.

IFPRI's primary activity in Malawi is the "Strengthening Agricultural Markets and Breaking the Humanitarian Cycle" project, which is co-funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This project is organized around two key themes:

  1. Strengthening Agricultural Markets and Institutions
  2. Improving Social Safety Nets and Breaking the Cycle of Hunger

Other IFPRI Projects in Malawi

New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support: Malawi  

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development is leading many of the high-level policy reforms that the government of Malawi committed to in 2013 under the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Malawi. The new USAID/Malawi initiative, the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support: Malawi project (NAPAS: Malawi), will enable staff from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy project (FSP) to provide policy advisory support to MoAIWD to better enable the government of Malawi achieve these policy reforms. FSP is an applied global agriculture and food security policy research project funded by the Bureau of Food Security of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Michigan State University, the International Food Policy Research Institute, and the University of Pretoria. Using additional financial resources provided by USAID/Malawi through the NAPAS:Malawi project, two FSP staff members—Dr. Flora Nankhuni, Senior Policy Advisor and Dr. Athur Mabiso, Policy Analyst—have been placed within the Department of Agricultural Planning Services (DAPS) to work for three years.

The twin objectives of the NAPAS:Malawi project are to improve the agriculture investment climate in Malawi and to enable increased commercialization of Malawi’s agricultural sector. In order to enable substantial progress to be made towards these objectives, the project has three technical components:

  • Provide technical support for policy formulation;
  • Engage in communication activities to inform debate on agriculture and food security policy issues, and
  • Address gaps in analytical expertise constraining agricultural policy reform.

Download NAPAS Brochure here.