Malawi’s farm subsidy benefits the poor but doesn’t come cheap

This article was originally published on The Conversation.  ************************* Malawi’s farm input subsidy benefits the poor and can be part of a viable national development strategy. Agriculture is Malawi’s main economic sector. It generates one-third of GDP, half of total export earnings and two-thirds of employment. The farm input subsidy programme is a prime example >> Read more

Policy Note 22: Is Malawi’s mix of maize market policies ultimately harming food security?

High levels of poverty and food insecurity combined with weak food markets have prompted many African governments for political and socioeconomic reasons to assume the responsibility of ensuring adequate domestic food supply at reasonable prices. Malawi is no different, with significant government intervention in the maize market on both the production and marketing sides. Interventions >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1442: Investigating public financial accounts and coding system in Malawi and measuring agricultural expenditures within the system

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program encourages African governments to allocate a significant portion of public expenditures to agriculture sector. This is premised on the assumption that agriculture is an important driver of growth, poverty reduction and food security and hence agriculture spending also has potential to significantly impact on these areas. Considering many and >> Read more

Working Paper 13: Strategic options for agriculture and development in Malawi

This paper considers potential strategic options for agriculture and development in Malawi in the context of the country’s current situation and the prospects the country faces. After briefly reviewing current national and sectoral policy and potential roles of smallholder agriculture in economic growth, we set out the current situation in order to consider strengths, weaknesses, >> Read more

2015 ECAMA Research Symposium Call for Abstracts

We are pleased to announce the second annual research symposium of the Economics Association of Malawi and are calling for abstract submissions. Following on the success of the inaugural event in 2014, the 2015 ECAMA Research Symposium will focus on “Agricultural transformation and value chain development for sustainable economic development”, bringing together local and international >> Read more

Working Paper 12: Strengthening storage, credit, and food security linkages: The role and potential impact of warehouse receipt systems in Malawi

This study considers the extent to which smallholder farmers, including those who do not necessarily produce a surplus for the market, might benefit from participating in warehouse receipt systems (WRS) in terms of improved income and food security. We consider three potential channels: efficient food markets; reduced post-harvest losses; and access to credit. Firstly, we find that WRS, through its >> Read more

Working Paper 11: Challenges to soya export promotion: An institutional analysis of trade policy in Malawi

Malawi relies heavily on tobacco for export earnings. One strategy for promoting a more stable and vibrant economy is to diversify away from tobacco and broaden its export base to high potential commodities like soya. This study hypothesizes that there are institutional barriers impeding consistent growth in soya exports and seek to identify the critical >> Read more