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Working Paper

IDS Discussion Paper;362

Household Food Security in Malawi

Published on 25 January 1997

Malawi is characterised in food security discourse as a paradigmatic case of incipient malthusian crisis in rural Africa. Malawians enjoy few employment alternatives to agriculture, economic liberalisation has created new patterns of opportunity for some but increased marginalisation for others, and the government’s traditional policy commitment to national self sufficiency in staple cereals is increasingly unsustainable in a context of rapid population growth, rising input costs and recurrent drought.

Responses to this crisis have been pragmatic but short-termist. Malawi’s ‘green revolution’ – hybrid maize promotion – is intended to maintain self sufficiency indefinitely, but only delays the inevitable day when Malawi, failing an unprecedented structural transformation of the economy based on diversification away from agriculture, becomes permanently dependent on massive inflows of aid to bridge chronic food production deficits.

Authors

Stephen Devereux

Research Fellow

Publication details

published by
Institute of Development Studies
authors
Devereux, Stephen
journal
IDS Discussion Paper, issue 362
isbn
1 85864 215 9
language
English

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About this publication

Region
Malawi

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