Malawi

Below Average Rainfall to Challenge Planting, Food Security in Southern Africa

According to a recent alert from FEWS Net, southern Africa has seen a below average start to the 2019-2020 agricultural season, with rainfall only 55-85 percent of normal levels from October through early December. This decrease in precipitation has negatively impacted planting and germination rates throughout much of the region. The most impacted areas include Lesotho, central and southern Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa, and western and southern Zambia.

Agricultural extension: Evidence from Malawi

This post originally appeared on IFPRI.org.

Malawi's FIRP Program and Maize Prices

In April 2016, the President of Malawi declared a state of emergency in response to the second consecutive year of failed maize harvests. Domestic maize production in early 2016 only reached 2.4 million metric tons, compared to the 3.2 metric tons harvested in an average year. The international aid community and the private sector responded with the Food Insecurity Response Program (FIRP), which provided aid to almost 40 percent of the Malawian population.

Fall Armyworm Threat Continues

As fall armyworm continues to spread across Africa, policymakers and development partners have increased their efforts to stop the pest’s reach and to mitigate its impact on the region’s agricultural production and food security.

Incentives for conservation agriculture adoption

This post originally appeared on the IFPRI.org blog.

B Andrew Reid Bell, Patrick Ward, Lawrence Mapemba, Tim Benton, Klaus Droppelmann, Jennifer Zavaleta Cheek, Frazer Mataya, and Oliver Pierson

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.

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