Policy Note 26: Under what policy and market conditions will Malawi’s smallholder farmers switch from tobacco to soyabean?

Malawi has the potential to reorient its smallholder agriculture away from being primarily directed towards assuring household subsistence and self-sufficiency to increased commercial production, including of soybean. This study shows how this shift would reduce the country’s reliance on tobacco and diversify its agricultural production and exports. As a legume, furthermore, soybean would also have >> 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

Risks of unpredictable trade policy to Malawi’s economic growth

For two years, Malawi has promoted a policy environment conducive to the free trade of soya. This commitment is in line with its strategy to increase the scale of production of oilseed so that processors can count on a stable supply of raw inputs for value addition. Predictable policies help actors along the value chain—from >> Read more

MaSSP Report: Mapping the Linkages between agriculture, food security and nutrition in Malawi

In spite of rapid small-holder led economic growth in Malawi over the past decade, almost half of all children under five years of age in Malawi still suffer from undernutrition. Although some of these children may be getting enough to eat in terms of total calories, few are consuming sufficient quantities of nutrient-rich foods—meat, fish, eggs, >> Read more

Learning from Brazil: Adapting “Fomento” for Malawi

The impressive development of the Brazilian economy and the success of its government-run social programs, in particular those aimed at smallholder farmers, suggests that there is much to be learned from Brazil’s experience. In particular, Brazilian-style programs, modified to function in new locations, could have a significant impact on the well-being of smallholder, family farmers >> Read more

Working Paper 5: The determinants and extent of crop diversification among smallholder farmers: A case study of Southern Province, Zambia

This study analyzed the determinants of crop diversification as well as the factors influencing the extent of crop diversification by smallholder farmers in Southern province. The study used secondary data from the Central Statistical Office of Zambia. Results from a double-hurdle model analysis indicates that landholding size, fertilizer quantity, distance to market, and the type >> Read more