While Malawi has made progress in recent years, it still ranks among the world’s least developed countries. The country has experienced strong per capita GDP growth, averaging around 3.5 percent per annum from 2005-2011. However, despite this strong growth, poverty has only decreased from 52.4 percent to 50.7 percent since 2005, according to official estimates. Furthermore, undernutrition remains a challenge with a stunting prevalence of 47 percent of children under five.
Agriculture is the main source of income for the majority of the population. Thus, growth in agriculture, particularly in smallholder-based agriculture, is critical to meeting the country’s food security and poverty reduction goals.
The IFPRI Malawi Strategy Support Program (MaSSP) works closely with the Malawian government, particularly the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MoAFS), Department of Agricultural Planning Services (DAPS), to support these goals and facilitate and promote evidenced-based dialogue and decisionmaking, by providing both technical and analytical support. Particular emphasis is placed on supporting Malawi’s Agricultural Sector-Wide Approach (ASWAp) – an agenda designed to accelerate agricultural growth through prioritization and harmonization of public resource allocation.