How diversified is cropping in Malawi? Patterns, determinants and policy implications

Micro- and macroeconomic evidence suggest that the promotion of agricultural diversification in agriculture-based developing countries is beneficial. At the microeconomic level, increased agricultural diversification promotes human nutrition and raises household incomes, while allowing farmers to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change. A study recently published in Food Security journal used Malawi as a >> Read more

Global Food Policy Report 2018 Launches

IFPRI has just launched the 2018 Global Food Policy Report, a flagship publication which reviews major food policy developments and events in the past year and looks ahead through 2018. The theme for this year’s report is globalization, examining how current changes in the flow of goods, investments, people and information impact global food system. >> Read more

Working Paper 22: Impacts of the 2016/17 Food Insecurity Response Program on Maize Prices in Malawi

In early 2016, Malawi suffered its second consecutive year of harvest failure.  An emergency was declared in April 2016 and the resulting humanitarian response, known as the Food Insecurity Response Program (FIRP), was of unprecedented scale: almost 40 percent of the population received in-kind food or cash transfers (or both) at an estimated cost of >> Read more

Launching Key Facts Series: Key Facts Sheet on Agriculture and Food Security

IFPRI Malawi is pleased to announce the publication of a "Key Facts Sheet: Agriculture and Food Security." This is the first in a series of Key Facts sheets that IFPRI will be producing based on the third and fourth Integrated Household Surveys (IHS). The purpose of the series is to present data relevant to key >> Read more

Why is adoption of conservation agriculture still a hard sell in Malawi?

This blog post is based on an interview with Dr. Patrick Ward, research fellow in the Environment and Production Technology Division at IFPRI and Dr. Klaus Droppelman, process facilitator at the Institute for People, Innovation and Change in Organisations (PICOTEAM), following an end-of-project workshop held in Lilongwe on January 16-17, 2018. Smallholder farmers—in Malawi and >> 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

Project Note: How much did the maize export ban cost Malawi?

In a new MaSSP Project Note, IFPRI Malawi estimated the potential lost revenue of Malawi's export ban on maize following the 2016/17 harvesting season. Researchers estimated K69billion as the sum of gross revenue local traders could have earned, were they permitted to export their maize to Kigali, Rwanda. The sum was estimated as up to K54billion >> Read more

Policy Note 30: Traditional Leadership and Social Support in Southern Malawi

Food and nutrition security remains elusive in Malawi, particularly for rural, agrarian communities affected by seasonal shocks, climate change and land scarcity. Many state and donor-led social support programs exist to help villagers cope with these shocks, but less is known about informal community support systems. Policy Note 30 presents qualitative findings on the role of >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1673: Capacity and Accountability in the Agricultural Extension System in Malawi

The government of Malawi is in the process of reviewing its national extension policy and developing an effective extension strategy, all while implementing and monitoring extension activities under its National Agriculture Policy. A newly published IFPRI Discussion Paper, Capacity and Accountability in the Agricultural Extension System in Malawi: Insights from a Survey of Service Providers in 15 Districts, >> Read more

Policy Note 29: The Case for Structured Markets in Malawi

A new IFPRI-Malawi Policy Note examines the types and potential contributions of structured markets—organized and formal places where farmers, traders, processors, millers, banks and others may enter into regulated trading and financial arrangements. Structured markets are being promoted by the Government of Malawi as a solution to inefficiencies in the crop export market. Currently, exporters from Malawi do not >> Read more