Blog Category


Crop Losses in Southern Africa due to Drought and Flooding

Jun 11th, 2019 • by Sara Gustafson

Southern Africa faced widespread drought from the October 2018 to March 2019 rainy season, with less than 55 percent of normal rainfall totals, alerts FEWS. The 2018-2019 rainfall began a month late, triggering extended dry spells between January and March. The historically low rainfall totals affected areas of Botswana, northern Zimbabwe, eastern Namibia, southern Angola, and the surplus producing areas of northern South Africa and southern Zambia, and registered a D3 (Extreme) or a D4 (Exceptional) drought as per the United States Drought Monitor classification scale.

Extension and Productivity in Malawi

Jul 24th, 2018 • by Catherine Ragasa and John Mazunda (IFPRI)

This blog was originally published by IFPRI .

By Catherine Ragasa and John Mazunda (IFPRI)

Malawi’s agricultural policy is coming up short for farmers. While they receive heavy subsidies for seed and fertilizer, farmers continue to grapple with challenges to food security and productivity. Our recent research examines these gaps in Malawian agricultural policy, focusing on these questions: How can agricultural services best help farmers? And where is the ideal intersection of subsidies and extension services?

Reducing Food Loss in Africa South of the Sahara

Apr 14th, 2016 • by Sara Gustafson

In developing regions like Africa south of the Sahara, a significant amount of food produced is lost during the pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest stages of the agricultural value chain. Such losses present a significant challenge for poverty reduction and food security because they both lower producers’ incomes and raise food prices for consumers. In addition, inefficiencies in the global food system, like food loss during production and processing, make that system much less environmentally sustainable by wasting scarce natural resources.

Better Health for Better Productivity

Mar 31st, 2016 • by Sara Gustafson

Burkina Faso faces persistent high morbidity rates due to malaria, respiratory infections, malnutrition, diarrheic diseases, and HIV/AIDS, according to the country’s Ministry of Health. These health burdens can negatively impact the agricultural labor productivity of rural households by reducing both available labor and farming know-how.