Policy Note 20: Challenges to soya export promotion: An institutional analysis of trade policy in Malawi

This policy note summarizes the results of the full study on the challenges of broadening Malawi's export base from largely tobacco-dominated to include other 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 ones and undertakes an institutional analysis of the soya export >> Read more

Policy Note 19: The Challenge of Africa’s Nitrogen Drought: some indicators from the Malawian Experience

This MaSSP Policy Note by Stephen Carr describes how years of continuous cultivation with little or no use of external inputs to restore soil nutrients has resulted in a situation in which crop production in a number of African countries is now limited by nutrient deficiencies – nitrogen, in particular, which is crucial to healthy plant growth. This widespread problem >> Read more

Policy Note 18: Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program: Where do we go from here?

Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP) has dominated the agriculture and food security policy landscape in the country since its inception in 2005/06. FISP is now credited—or blamed, depending on one’s viewpoint—for a revival of agricultural input subsidies across Africa as a tool to raise crop productivity and reduce poverty and food insecurity. This follows global reporting >> Read more

Policy Note 17: Budget Allocation, Maize Yield Performance, and Food Security Outcomes Under FISP

Food security in Malawi is generally equated with adequate maize production as the country’s main staple crop accounts for more than 60 percent of total food consumption. Malawi has a long history of subsidizing agricultural inputs, either as a general policy to ensure national-level food security or as a response to poor harvests. As such, >> Read more

Policy Note 16: Resettlement and Food Security

The average smallholder farmer in Malawi is tasked to feed a family of five on a farm of less than one hectare in size (NSO, 2008). The intensification of land through, for example, fertilizer use plays a prominent role in Malawi’s policy to increase the productivity potential of smallholder farmers. With the population almost doubling >> Read more

Policy Note 15: How Best to Target Agricultural Subsidies?

Over the past few years, Malawi made remarkable progress toward increasing its national maize production and achieving food security owing to its Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP). Likewise, the implementation of the subsidy program is continuously being improved upon as the country learns from past experience. Recent evaluations of the Fertilizer Input Support Programs (FISP) >> Read more

Policy Note 14: Tracking the Performance of the Malawi Agricultural Sector

In June 2012, a Technical Working Group on Monitoring and Evaluation (TWG on M&E) was established in Malawi to track agricultural sector performance under the overarching sector strategy, the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAP). The TWG on M&E brings together a wide variety of stakeholders representing the public sector, non-state actors, and development partners. Each >> Read more

Policy Note 13: Who Talks to Whom? Information Flows in Malawi’s Agricultural Research Network

A social network analysis (SNA) of agricultural research institutions in Malawi was performed to investigate networking and knowledge sharing in relation to the implementation of the Agricultural Sector Wide Approach (ASWAp). SNA helps explain how the different actors relate to one another, and how these relationships affect the generation, exchange, and use of information and >> Read more

Policy Note 12: Research Capacity for Operationalization of the Malawi ASWAp

The Agricultural Sector-Wide Approach (ASWAp) aims to support priority activities in the agricultural sector in Malawi that would increase agricultural productivity, reduce hunger, enable people access to nutritious foods, and increase the contribution of agro-processing to economic growth. ASWAp directly supports the objective of the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) of reducing poverty and >> Read more

Policy Note 11: Maize Consumption Estimation and Dietary Diversity Assessment Methods in Malawi

Food security in Malawi is generally equated with adequate maize production, the country’s main staple crop, which accounts for more than 60 percent of total food production. However, reliable estimates of maize consumption are also useful measures for assessing food security. Further, information on the level of dietary diversity in the country can be used >> Read more