Agriculture support services: Direct effects, complementarities and time dynamics

Rural poverty remains a pervasive problem in Malawi, and many poverty reduction interventions focus on transitioning rural households out of subsistence agriculture. In a country like Malawi, where smallholder farmers constitute roughly 80 percent of the population and produce about 80 percent of the country’s food, this approach is unlikely to be effective, particularly in >> Read more

Adoption and impact of climate smart maize varieties in southern Africa

The economy of many African countries depends on the agricultural sector. However, the sector has performed poorly in recent years, posing challenges to countries’ development goals of ensuring food security and reducing poverty. This is due in part to over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, as well as climate change and variability. Droughts can severely impact crop >> Read more

DFID Policy Brief on 2016/17 Farm Input Subsidy Program

Up until last year, the decade-long Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) - a national programme designed to improve resource poor smallholder farmers’ access to improved agricultural inputs- had remained largely unchanged despite some criticisms about areas for improvement. A set of reforms finally came in 2016/17. A new policy brief published by the UK Aid >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1653: Does Providing Agricultural and Nutrition Information to Both Men and Women Improve Household Food Security? Evidence from Malawi

Malawi is among the countries in Africa south of the Sahara where millions of smallholder farmers rely on agriculture to ensure their families’ livelihoods, yet low land productivity, inadequate agricultural inputs, labor limitations, and erratic rains translate into widespread food shortages, hunger, and poverty. Particularly in Malawi, poverty, food insecurity, and undernutrition remain significant problems >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1654: Limited Attention and Information Loss in the Lab-to-Farm Knowledge Chain: The Case of Malawian Agricultural Extension Programs

Agricultural extension plays a crucial role in promoting agricultural productivity, increasing food security, improving rural livelihoods, and promoting agriculture as an engine of economic growth in developing countries. Yet, for agricultural knowledge to move from theory into practice, or from lab to field, extension services provide a critical linkage directly to farmers. In a new >> Read more

Working Paper 17: Localized public investment and agricultural performance in Malawi: An econometric approach

Using panel data econometric techniques, this paper evaluates how public expenditure influences agricultural performance at the district level in Malawi by empirically estimating localized expenditure multipliers for the districts. The results of the analysis show that public expenditures in agriculture have generally been positive, with variable impacts on agricultural growth at the district level. The >> Read more

Policy Note 26: Under what policy and market conditions will Malawi’s smallholder farmers switch from tobacco to soyabean?

Malawi has the potential to reorient its smallholder agriculture away from being primarily directed towards assuring household subsistence and self-sufficiency to increased commercial production, including of soybean. This study shows how this shift would reduce the country’s reliance on tobacco and diversify its agricultural production and exports. As a legume, furthermore, soybean would also have >> Read more

The Food-Energy-Water Security Nexus: Policy Dialogue Workshop

Food security, energy and water constitute basic needs of households. Commonly, interventions of policymakers or other stakeholders which target the necessities of households only focus on one of these needs. However, the supply of food, energy and water depends on a complex and interrelating system of natural resources. The Food Security-Energy-Water (FEW) Nexus project has >> Read more

Agricultural Policy and Institutional Strengthening Workshop on ASWAp II

The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), with support from the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Project (NAPAS: Malawi)  will host a National Workshop on ASWAp II- Agricultural Policy and Institutional Strengthening (APIS) from October 24 to 26, 2016 at Capital Hotel, Lilongwe. The major objectives of the workshop are for participants to: >> Read more

MoIT Dissemination Workshop on Export Bans and Minimum Farm Gate Prices

How can Malawi’s trade and export policies on agricultural products best support dual goals of food security and growth in the agriculture sector? Exploring this important topic, IFPRI presented research results at a “Dissemination Workshop on Export Bans and Minimum Farm Gate Prices Study” organized by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), at the >> Read more