Food situation in rural malawi 2001 02
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Food situation in rural Malawi 2001-02. Assessing the food situation: Food self-sufficiency – months that households have food to eat from their own production Buying food – when households resorted to the market to access food

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Food situation in rural malawi 2001 02
Food situationin rural Malawi 2001-02

  • Assessing the food situation:

    • Food self-sufficiency – months that households have food to eat from their own production

    • Buying food – when households resorted to the market to access food

    • Food security – when households had enough food from own production OR buying




Food insecurity

Moderate indicators

Eating nsima from green maize (chitibu)

Eating madeya/gaga

Eating only fruit

Eating only vegetables

Eating only sugar cane

Extreme indicators

Eating nsima from maize cobs

Eating only wild roots and tubers

Eating only wild fruit, mushrooms, etc

Eating nothing for the whole day

Food insecurity






Food security and crops grown 2001 02
Food security and crops grown2001-02

  • Grouping districts by staple foods grown:

 Crop diversification enhances food security, growing maize only increases risk of food crisis


Next season 2002 03
Next season (2002-03)

  • Will the food situation be better or worse than last season?

  • When will the crisis begin?

  • How can we respond?

    • The short term

    • The long term




The maize deficit
The maize deficit

  • 2001-02 maize deficit around 600,000 tonnes

  • 2002-03 maize deficit will be around 780,000 tonnes

  • The estate sector is too small to offset the deficit – and did not respond to price incentive in 2001-02

  • Underproduction of maize will again put severe upward pressure on food prices

  • High food prices will  FI/EFI, undermining education, health and development programmes

  • The ‘hungry period’ will begin earlier than last year

  • Food imports (food aid) may help – but not enough


Addressing underproduction the medium term response starting now
Addressing underproduction- the medium term response (starting now!)

  • A strategy is needed to strengthen weak purchasing power of smallholder farmers

  • Meanwhile, free inputs can help  production

  • Universal SP is value for money compared with food imports (cost of SP about 1/4 cost of importing)

  • Targeting 1/2 or 1/3 of farmers does not work and undermines community structures

  • Near-universal is feasible (communities could agree to it) – South 89%, Centre 87%, North 60%

    • but near-universal will not maximise production


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