Recent Appeals

Documents

Projects

Other Resources

Connect with us

Malawi

Malawi

Malawi’s small-scale producers – who make up the vast majority of farmers – are struggling to produce enough to feed themselves and their families. Small landholdings, little access to credit, limited technological know-how and poor market access make it difficult for farmers to move from subsistence to commercial production. And frequent shocks, like dry spells and flooding during the cropping season, outbreaks of crop and livestock diseases and high food prices, are further undermining their livelihoods.

Working closely with the Government, FAO Malawi developed a four-year Plan of Action through which FAO is seeking to help reduce the risk and impact of disasters on food and nutrition security in the country.

Preparing for and recovering from disasters

As the scale and intensity of disasters becomes more frequent in Malawi – linked to climate change and a degrading environment – FAO has been working to help farmers prepare for and resist the effects of drought and floods.

Although overall production levels have been good in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, localized massive crop losses left over 500 000 people without enough food in 2010/11. This rose further in 2011/12, with 1.63 million people – over 10 percent of the population – unable to produce enough food following late rains at the start of the season and prolonged dry spells in early 2012. Some of the areas hit by unfavourable weather have experienced poor harvests for the past two seasons, eroding their ability to cope.

In response, FAO is seeking immediate funding to help 15 000 families to start off-season vegetable and maize production to limit their losses. At the same time, FAO is expanding the use of improved seeds and planting materials, which will make farmers more “resilient” to disasters. For example, by promoting the use of short-cycle crop varieties, FAO is giving farmers a chance to plant when rains are late.

Moving towards long-term development

The recurrence of droughts and floods makes recovery progressively more difficult for communities when livelihoods are already weakened by poverty. FAO is working to help families transition from emergency and relief assistance to longer-term development by addressing the underlying factors that heighten household vulnerability at the same time as response interventions are implemented.

FAO Malawi is promoting improved cropping practices like conservation agriculture. This involves training not only farmers, but also extension workers who will continue to train farmers over the years, in good agricultural practices, integrated production and pest management and other new technologies. Farmers also receive high quality inputs to ensure they achieve better harvests.

Helping farmers access markets

Smallholders face a number of difficulties in accessing markets – from low productivity to poor post-harvest handling and processing to limited access to quality inputs to inadequate transport networks. FAO is helping farmers access more reliable sources of income by linking them to markets through contract growing and out-growing arrangements. These ensure that farmers receive the inputs and training they need with a guaranteed market for their produce.

 

More about the country

 - In Mvera, Dowa district in Malawi, the farmers of Kaso Producers & Marketing Cooperative Society know very well what FAO and WFP collaboration means, as it ...read more
28/06/2013
 - Around 50 representatives from participating countries and partners, including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), gathered ...read more
03/06/2013
 - Malawi is a small, landlocked African country suffering frequent droughts and floods. These extreme weather events damage infrastructure and housing and occasionally displace significant portions of ...read more
19/03/2013
 - Une nouvelle méthode, plus rapide et plus précise, pour mesurer la faim et l'insécurité alimentaire dans le monde va bientôt être testée sur le terrain par ...read more
13/03/2013
 - Au cours d'une visite de haut niveau au Malawi, Andris Piebalgs, commissaire européen chargé du développement, et José Graziano da Silva, Directeur général de la FAO, ont ...read more
05/03/2013
 - FAO in emergencies' project in Malawi to support the use of treadle pumps in agriculture.
23/11/2012
 - The Republic of Malawi is among the poorest countries in the world. The country is frequently hit by disasters, with many people affected by shocks such ...read more
01/05/2012
 - Agro-forestry in South-eastern Madagascar The South-eastern region of Madagascar, where most families (80% of the population) depend on agriculture, is regularly affected by floods and cyclones, causing ...read more
01/12/2011
 - FAO and CARE co-host Regional DRR and FS/DRR Workshop FAO and CARE joined hands in organizing the second DIPECHO/ECHO threeday regional workshop on “Experiencebased Disaster Risk Reduction ...read more
01/11/2011
 - GOAL Malawi: Experiences and Lessons Learned in Food Security and Agriculture DRR In parts of Malawi, including Nsanje district in the south, 80-100% crop failure is not ...read more
01/09/2011