Portail de l'appui aux politiques et de la gouvernance

Case study

Review of Food and Agricultural Policies in Malawi. Country Report 2014

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and its national, regional and international partners are committed to monitoring and analysing
food and agricultural policies (MAFAP) in order to provide policy-makers in developing countries, as well as their development partners and other stakeholders in civil society, with the best possible information on the effects of policies and public expenditure influencing agricultural investment decisions and ultimately food
security. Furthermore, MAFAP supports governments in their efforts to identify, articulate and assess options for reforming food and agriculture policies. MAFAP
works with national and regional partners to: establish a community of practice on policy measurement, monitoring and analysis by developing institutional
capacities that systematically analyse government policies and their effects; assess options of political reforms; and engage national stakeholders and development partners in policy dialogue.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the effects of food and agricultural policies in Malawi over the period 2005–2013 and carefully examines:

  • the effects of policies and market performance on price incentives for producers, consumers and other agents in six key agricultural value chains;
  • the level and composition of public expenditure in support of the food and agriculture sector; and 
  • the degree of coherence between governments’ stated policy objectives, the policy measures implemented to achieve those objectives, and the effects they generate.

Relevance in terms of production, trade, food-security and government policies, along with data availability, led to the selection of cotton, groundnuts, maize, sugar, tea and tobacco as commodities to be analysed. They represent 32 percent of the value of production, more than 90 percent of the value of exports, 30 percent of the value of imports and 25 percent of the value of products considered vital for food security (FAOSTAT, 2014). Owing to the lack of price information, analysing 70 percent of the total value of agricultural production, as stipulated in the MAFAP methodology, was not feasible. Indeed, investing in sustainable market information systems is a key policy recommendation emerging from this report.

The analyses presented in this report are based on the MAFAP methodology for  measuring the effects of agricultural and food policies. However, the lack of price information has proved to be a key constraint in analysing the effects of policies and market performance on price incentives for producers and other agents.
Therefore, in certain specific cases, the MAFAP methodology was adapted to deal with the data scarcity.

Find out more on Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP)