Blog Category


Evaluating Fertilizer Subsidies in Malawi

Mar 15th, 2024 • by Sara Gustafson

Since the 1950s, Malawi has used a national fertilizer subsidy program as a way to spur use of inorganic fertilizers, boost domestic maize production, and ensure food security and self-sufficiency for smallholder farmers. According to new working paper from the Malawi Strategy Support Program, however, the national subsidy program may not be the most efficient investment for improving the country’s food security and domestic production goals.

Hunger in Malawi: The El Niño Effect

Nov 22nd, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

The El Niño phenomenon, occurring on average ever 2-7 years, often causes reduced precipitation and drier-than-average weather in Malawi. These conditions in return result in poor agricultural conditions and reduced harvests. A new project paper from the Malawi Strategy Support Program examines the extent of El Niño’s effects on agriculture and identifies pathways to mitigate the subsequent impacts on hunger levels in the country.

Southern Africa to Face High Food Prices, Reduced Purchasing Power through 2025

Nov 12th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

The current El Niño phenomenon is expected to result in rainfall deficits and below-average harvests throughout Southern Africa in 2024, according to a recent alert from FEWS Net. Poor households throughout the region will likely face reduction in livelihoods and income and difficulty purchasing adequate food.

How Cooperatives Can Drive Agricultural Transformation in Malawi

Jul 11th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

Cooperative farming is often seen as potential pathway for smallholder producers to gain access to more lucrative market opportunities, thus improving their livelihoods and reducing poverty. Such is the case in Malawi, where agricultural cooperatives have been prioritized in the country’s 2063 development vision as a way to enhance the productivity and commercialization of the country’s many smallholder farmers. A recent policy note from the Malawi Strategy Support Program (MSSP) looks at the current state of the program and how policymakers can increase its chances of success.

How to achieve food system transformation to prevent future food crises

May 15th, 2023 • by S. Gustafson

With multiple crises plaguing food systems across the globe, Africa south of the Sahara remains particularly hard hit. As a result, policymakers and development partners in the region are faced with the need to balance sometimes conflicting priorities: ending hunger and reducing poverty, making diets healthier and more affordable, improving the productivity and livelihoods of smallholder households, and adapting to and mitigating the impacts of climate change.