FSP Research Paper 17: Crop suitability maps and an agricultural zonation scheme for Malawi

Although relatively small, Malawi is a country with significant agro-ecological diversity.  In consequence, generations of Malawian farmers have developed a variety of quite complex farming systems to exploit distinct combinations of local agricultural resources. An important implication of this variety of farming systems is that the comparative advantage of different areas of Malawi for the production >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1549: A Farm Level Perspective of the Policy Challenges for Export Diversification in Malawi: Example of the Oilseeds and Maize Sectors

The primary goal of this study was to investigate the potential to expand oilseeds, specifically soybean, as an alternative commercial crop to tobacco among Malawian farmers. A principal motivation for undertaking the study at the microeconomic level is to determine, in a theoretically consistent fashion, the type of policy and economic environment under which farmers begin >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1546: The Economic Value of Seasonal Forecasts Stochastic Economy wide Analysis for East Africa

There is growing interest within the climate change and development community in using seasonal forecast information to reduce the losses to agriculture resulting from climate variability, especially within food-insecure countries. However, forecast systems are expensive to establish and maintain, and therefore gauging the potential economic return to investments in forecast systems is crucial. Most studies >> 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

Policy Note 25: Are Malawi’s maize and soya trade restrictions causing more harm than good? A summary of evidence and practical alternatives

Since the early 2000's, the government of Malawi has used trade restrictions, export bans in particular, to control trade flows for maize and soya, among other crops. This note explores how effective maize and soya export bans have been in achieving their stated goals. It also considers the unintended side effects of export bans, including >> 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

Policy Note 24: Have market policies turned Malawi’s large-scale farmers into subsistence maize producers?

In the last two decades, food security policy in Malawi has focused on enhancing the maize productivity of smallholder farmers, primarily through the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP). While this has raised maize yields, production shocks, such as droughts and floods, continue to result in wide-spread food insecurity in the country. In 2014/15, for example, >> Read more

IFPRI’s 2016 Global Food Policy Report

The Global Food Policy Report is IFPRI’s flagship publication. This year’s annual report examines major food policy issues, global and regional developments, and commitments made in 2015, and presents data on key food policy indicators. The report also proposes key policy options for 2016 and beyond to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Of particular relevance to >> Read more

Stakeholder survey to assess the quality of agriculture and food security policy processes in Malawi

The New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Program undertook a survey June - August 2015 to inform government and other stakeholders in Malawi’s agricultural sector on how these policy processes might be improved. The sample of stakeholders who participated are involved in the processes through which agricultural and food security policy and programs are formulated and >> Read more