Malawi

New FEWS Net Country Alerts

The latest series of updated country alerts from FEWS Net provides food security and food production updates for several countries in Africa south of the Sahara.

Gender and Food Security in Malawi

Researchers and policymakers have become increasingly cognizant of the role that gender plays in food security in developing countries. A new IFPRI Discussion Paper takes an in-depth look at the implications of gender roles in household food security in Malawi and finds that improving joint access – i.e. access for both men and women – to agricultural and nutrition information and training can be an important driver in increasing households’ food security.

Food Transfers and Child Nutrition

In the 2016 Global Hunger Index (produced by IFPRI, Concern International, and ), Malawi ranked 88th out of 118 countries, with 20.7 percent of the population suffering from undernourishment and 42.4 percent of children under 5 years of age suffering from stunting. In the lean season, food and nutrition security poses even more of a challenge; according to an assessment by the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee, 2016 lean-season food insecurity (stretching from October 2015 – March 2016) was forecast to affect around 2.8 million people.

New GIEWS Country Briefs Released

FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) has recently released several new country briefs for the Africa South of the Sahara Food Security Portal’s prioritized countries. The country brief series provides information regarding countries’ current agricultural season and harvest prospects for main staple food crops, as well as estimates and forecasts of cereal production, cereal imports, and food prices and policy developments.

Overview of the Fertilizer Supply Chain in Selected Countries

The fertilizer industry is characterized by high levels of concentration along the supply chain. According to the International Fertilizer Development Center, nine countries control more than 50 percent of nitrogen (ammonia, urea) and phosphate (DAP/MAP) production capacity, while only five countries control 79 percent of potash (MOP) production capacity. Developing regions such as Africa south of the Sahara are also highly dependent on imported fertilizer. In addition, the level of fertilizer use in Africa south of the Sahara remains far below other developing regions (around 10kg.

Understanding Post-Harvest Losses

According to FAO estimates, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food gets lost or wasted every year around the world. These losses occur all along the food value chain, from farm to fork, and understanding exactly where they occur for specific commodities and in specific geographic locations can go a long way in helping researchers and policymakers design interventions to reduce them. Such a reduction in food loss is an important part of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG12.

Agricultural Extension Services in Malawi

According to a new technical report from IFPRI’s Malawi Strategy Support Program (MSSP), despite the fact that Malawi has exceeded the 10 percent agricultural investment goal set forth by the CAADP, the country’s agricultural productivity has remained stagnant in recent years and food insecurity and undernutrition remain rampant.

Men and Women See Unequal Access to Benefits of Biofortification

Biofortified crops, such as orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, have been shown to reduce malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency, especially in children, and increase farm households’ incomes. Whether or not farmers adopt these new crops, however, depends on individual farmers’ perceptions of biofortification’s benefits.

Horn of Africa Facing Drought, Famine

The Horn of Africa received only one-quarter of the expected rainfall from October through December, leading to widespread drought and potential famine conditions. An emergency alert from FEWS Net issued on January 25 states that emergency food assistance needs in the region are “unprecedented”, particularly in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, where the threat of famine is particularly strong.

Excess Rainfall, Pests Pose Food Security Challenge in Southern Africa

A new Southern Africa regional alert from FEWS Net has forecast crop damage due to recent heavy rains and an outbreak of fall Armyworm.

December saw consistent severe rains in several parts of the region.  This heavy rainfall has leached nutrients from the soil and prevented households from working on their farms. FEWS Net reports that both of these factors may adversely affect crop yields.

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