I am a concerned Malawian. Despite the country being donor infested; where civil servants receive meagre salaries, and a majority of rural people food insecure for almost half of the year, I am not sure which scenario is most applicable, maybe 3 with reservations. First of all, realistically, Malawi is one of the poorest nations of the world, with 47% of children stunted (food insecure) (MDHS, 2010). With 52% of the population, and high martenal mortality rate, and fertility rate (highest in SADC), scenario 1 is very unrealistic. Which brings me to the point of consulting the grassroots, smallholder farmers and the rural poor in such discussions. I am not sure who the respondents who came up with the 4 scenarios were; but there is a tendency of not consulting the rural poor, wo are the culprits of hunger and poverty; look at the 2011 Nutrition strategy-it does not address the needs of the rural poor, women (who constitute over 70% of food production) and the youth (who are shunning agriculture and migrate to South Africa or cities, where they become vulnerable to food insecurity. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and the ASWAP; they were constructed by architects who did not include the rural poor, smallholders; and how then do the policies transform the population economically through the 6% GDP growth (CAADP)? To sum my point; Malawi does not need an online consultation like this in order to draw strategies or make a case; it needs a complete overhaul; (politicians will continue to be greedy); donors will continue to prescribe programmes the way they want, smallholder farmers, women and youth will continue to be silent (not by choice) in policy framing and implementation, The result is "success stories of fertiliser subsidies in terms of yields, while the population continues to be food insecure at household level; and increasing GDP when the food basket is shrinking!
Other EPIC country scenarios: