Policy Note 27: Localized public investment and agricultural performance in Malawi: Synposis

The contribution of public investment to agricultural productivity is well recognized as a key determinant of agricultural growth. Malawi is one of the few countries in Africa that has surpassed the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) commitment of spending at least 10 percent of one's national budget on agriculture. Policy Note 27 focuses on how public >> Read more

Using spatial data to analyze migration and employment in Malawi

Geographic information systems, or GIS, is not exactly a new concept, but there are plenty of missed opportunities to use spatial data to fill data gaps or to provide non-biased results (due to the presence of spatial autocorrelation and heterogeneity) on a variety of research topics. But first—what exactly is geospatial data? Geospatial data identifies >> Read more

Op-ed: Is smuggling of maize necessarily bad?

In recent days, MDF troops have been deployed to the northern border to prevent the smuggling of maize into Tanzania and Zambia.  While this action seems a natural response during a year of national food shortage, four factors should give us pause for thought.

New study looks at early effects of Africa RISING Program in Malawi

[Originally posted on the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets website.] “Agricultural (research) programs without rigorous impact evaluation tend to focus on rapid testing (and rollout) of technologies with high-probability adopters to provide swift feedback to donor constituencies. Such programs also tend to favor numeric accomplishments over a deeper understanding of complex development >> Read more

The impact of urbanization on food systems and policy: 2017 Global Food Policy Report now out

Today, IFPRI released one of its annual flagship publications: the 2017 Global Food Policy Report, an evidence-based analysis of the latest developments in food policy across the developing world. This year's report examines how urbanization is changing food systems, health, and development. It features chapters on the importance of investing in rural-urban linkages and value chains; the >> Read more

Harnessing markets for improved nutrition

Hunger and undernutrition are long standing problems that are difficult to address in Malawi. Can markets be leveraged­—linking producers to consumers and delivering nutrient-dense food—to improve nutrition and food security, especially of the poor? Preliminary results from a recent study, “Harnessing markets for improved nutrition: A Case Study of Zomba,” were presented by Noora-Lisa Aberman >> Read more

IFPRI to join Twitter chat: When women flourish, we can end hunger

Global research has already produced evidence confirming the critical role women's empowerment plays in addressing hunger and malnutrition. In fact, many believe that half of the recent reduction in child malnutrition can be attributed to women’s empowerment. "When women flourish, we can end hunger." This is the theme of a dynamic Twitter chat taking place >> Read more

MaSSP Report: The state of agricultural extension and advisory services provision in Malawi

  Though Malawi has made some recent progress in increasing agricultural production and economic growth as well as reducing food insecurity, undernutrition and food insecurity remain widespread with 37 percent of children under five being stunted according to the 2015/16 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and 6.7 million people estimated to be in need of >> Read more

Is irrigation in Malawi a worthwhile investment?

Investing in irrigation is often considered to be a viable approach to not only raising crop yields and farm incomes, but also mitigating the adverse effects of climate variability. This is particularly true in Malawi, where most of the economy depends on agriculture, and where frequent and severe droughts exacerbate poverty and food insecurity. Despite >> Read more

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