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

Working Paper 16: Discretionary maize policy interventions in Malawi: An impact analysis of export bans and minimum farm gate price

This study assesses the efficacy of maize export bans in improving food security in Malawi and of minimum farm gate prices in increasing the incomes of Malawian smallholder farmers. It relies primarily on price and trade flow analysis using secondary data. In brief, the analysis shows that neither tool has been particularly effective in recent >> Read more

Working Paper 15: Achieving food security and industrial development in Malawi: Are export restrictions the solution?

Restrictions on exports of staples or cash crops are frequently imposed in developing countries to promote food security or industrial development goals. By diverting production to the local market, these policies aim to reduce prices and increase the supply of food or intermediate inputs to the benefit of consumers or downstream industrial users. Although export >> Read more

Working Paper 14: Household resilience to drought: The case of Salima District in Malawi

This study identifies factors that affect resilience to drought among smallholder farmers in Salima, one of the districts frequently affected by drought in Malawi. The study contributes to the existing literature by constructing a drought resilience index (DRI) and uses it to determine the effect of drought resilience on the welfare of farming households. Principal >> 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

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

Working Paper 10: Analysis of the effectiveness of modern information and communication technologies on maize marketing efficiency in Malawi markets

In 2004, the government of Malawi introduced the Malawi Agriculture Commodity Exchange under the Initiative for Development and Equity in African Agriculture program, which promoted modern information and communication technologies (ICT) to improve access to agricultural market information for both suppliers and buyers of market produce. Using co-integration error correction models, this study assesses the >> Read more

Working Paper 9: Maize yield response to nitrogen in Malawi’s smallholder production systems

This working paper reviews the research evidence on the factors known to be affecting the efficiency with which Malawian farmers use nitrogen fertilizer on maize. It is our position that such factors, along with non-random aspects of most trials, might explain the large gaps observed between researcher-managed plots and farmer-managed fields. In addition, the paper provides >> Read more

Working Paper 8: Modeling potential impacts of future climate change in Mzimba District Malawi, 2040-2070

Historical data in Malawi indicates there has been climate change in the past and that farmer households have been affected. Climate models predict further changes in precipitation and temperature over Malawi in the future. However, most studies to understand the impacts of climate change in Malawi have focused on ex post assessments of weather events. >> Read more