HIV/AIDS, agriculture and food security in Malawi

Background to action

It is now widely accepted that AIDS in not just a health issue. In the recently developed Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, the Malawi people and government designated HIV/AIDS as a crosscutting issue, and the Malawi National HIV/AIDS Strategic Framework 2000-2004 calls for “an expanded, multi-sectoral national response to the epidemic.” However the capacity to respond to these calls lags behind. In many sectors, policy making still proceeds as if HIV/AIDS never happened. Despite growing efforts, organizations involved in agricultural research and development generally have limited understanding of how AIDS affects agricultural systems, and even more limited knowledge of how agricultural development may contribute to the spread of HIV. Weakest of all is often their appreciation of what they can do, feasibly, to contribute to more effective HIVprevention and mitigation of AIDS impacts. No single institution can expect to have significant impact if it acts alone, but decision makers in agricultural R&D organizations are unlikely to be familiar with the range of actors among whom they might find collaborators.

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International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
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