Uncovering the potential of resource-poor farmers through increased access to improved agricultural technologies: The Malawi model

Malawi has faced consistent incidences of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. These have been attributed in part to frequent droughts. In addition, privatization policies forced the country to put the burden of keeping food reserves and providing agricultural inputs on few unprepared and ill-equipped private traders. In order to deal with these problems, an Input Subsidy Program (ISP) was set up and resulted in the highest maize production on record in 2007. In this discussion we suggest that access to improved agricultural inputs is a critical factor in technology adoption and attainment of food security in poor countries.
Le Malawi a fait face à l’incidence constante de la faim, la malnutrition et la pauvreté. Celles-ci ont été attribuées en partie à des sécheresses fréquentes. En outre, les politiques de privatisation ont forcé le pays à mettre à la charge de maintien de réserves alimentaires et la fourniture d’intrants agricoles sur quelques négociants privés impréparés et mal équipés. Afin de faire face à ces problèmes, un programme de subvention d’intrants (ISP) a été créé et a abouti à la production la plus élevée du maïs enregistrée en 2007. Dans cette discussion, nous suggérons que l’accès aux intrants agricoles améliorés est un facteur déterminant dans l’adoption de technologies et la réalisation de la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays pauvres.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Southern Africa
RUFORUM Conferences and Workshops
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Printed resource
"The 2010 RUFORUM Biennial Conference was the second in the series. The main objective of the Biennial conferences is to provide a platform for agricultural research for development stakeholders in Africa and beyond to actively exchange findings and experiences, while at the same time learning lessons towards improving performance of the agricultural sector and ultimately people’s livelihoods. The biennial conference is RUFORUM’s most comprehensive meeting for the diversity of stakeholers in agriculture. It is especially dedicated to graduate students and their supervisors, grantees in RUFORUM member universities and alumni. It is a platform for peer review, quality control, mentorship, networking and shared learning. This record contains an extended abstract accepted under the theme socio-economics".