Firms for improved food system
Two international research think-tanks, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Akademiya2063, have urged Malawi to move towards a more comprehensive food systems approach by way of diversified production.
This is contained in a joint report issued after reviewing key drivers affecting the country’s food system.
Areas of focus include environmental and climatic conditions, global trade, agriculture vulnerability, demographics, infrastructural issues and science and technology.
The study found that, dominated by few products, agriculture remains the main sector of Malawi’s economy, accounting for about 80 percent of total export earnings and labour force participation.
It says, as Malawians continue to heavily rely on Maize for consumption, the situation has potential to affect food and nutrition security.
It notes that the observed change and instability in climatic conditions pose a threat to agriculture production and have the potential to trigger price and income fluctuation.
“We are [also] learning from the Covid pandemic that ensuring an adequate, healthy food supply at all times requires a resilient food system,” the report reads.
It cites population growth, urbanisation and huge dependence on biomass energy among factors creating considerable stress in the country’s forest resource.
Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Grecian Lungu said the government was looking at diversification as a systematic and collective agenda.
He said reliable and sustainable agricultural market linkages were pulling factors of production together and the ministry is promoting structured markets as a sustainable relationship between farmers and buyers.