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Trade restrictions such as export bans have been a popular way for governments to protect their countries’ domestic food supplies, but research suggests that such policies are largely ineffective and even detrimental. A new policy note from the Malawi Strategy Support Program examines Malawi’s use of these policies and presents alternative policies that could help better meet the country’s food security and agricultural development goals. (Also read about the use of export bans in Tanzania )
A new report released by FEWS Net examines current food security conditions in Tanzania, finding that overall national food security prospects are favorable but local-level conditions remain mixed.
According to the FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning Systems (GIEWS), food security in Chad continues to be plagued by irregular and insufficient rainfall and by ongoing conflict. While the government tried to stimulate agricultural production through increased provision of fertilizers, seeds, pesticides, and agricultural equipment, a delayed start to the rainy season and poorly distributed rains has led to an estimated 2015 aggregate cereal production of 2.35 million tonnes, 11 percent below 2014’s output and 9 percent below average.
Focusing on agricultural growth, particularly that of smallholder farmers, can help countries in Africa south of the Sahara achieve broader economic and development objectives, including poverty reduction, says a new open-access book prepared by the United Nations University (UNU-WIDER) and published by Oxford Press.
In 1961, annual milled rice production in Africa south of the Sahara was 2.8 million tons; this number reached an estimated 16.6 million tons in 2011.  Despite this increase, however, demand for rice in the region has outpaced local production, leading SSA to import more rice; according to a journal article in Agriculture and Food Security , the share of imports in SSA’s overall rice consumption reached 43 percent in 2009. This trend has caused policymakers and experts throughout the region to attempt to strengthen the domestic rice sector.