While economic growth is generally acknowledged as a necessary precondition for reducing poverty, relatively little is known about how growth and nutrition are related. Therefore, questions persist regarding how to leverage economic policies so that they have a larger impact on nutrition. In recent years the Malawian government allocated a large share of its resources to the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP). Subsidized fertilizer and seed mainly for maize production led to rapid GDP growth during 2005–2010. It is obvious that an abundant supply of the calorie-laden staple maize is good for reducing calorie deficiency; however, it is less clear how FISP has affected micronutrient deficiencies, which are high in Malawi. This brief explores diverse poverty and nutritional outcomes of recent maize-led growth in Malawi and considers outcomes under two plausible future growth scenarios.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)