Welcome to the First Edition of NAPAS Happenings

by Dr. Flora Nankhuni

''Welcome to the first edition of NAPAS Happenings, our quarterly newsletter, aimed at keeping you, our readers, up to date with the main issues facing the agriculture sector, mainly policies and the role they play in shaping the sector. NAPAS: Malawi started in November 2014 and is part of the high-level policy reform initiatives that the Government of Malawi committed to in 2013 under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. The Project is housed in the Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), where it offers technical and financial support to the Ministry. NAPAS: Malawi has undertaken several activities in fulfillment of its twin objectives of improving the agriculture investment climate and enabling increased commercialization of Malawi’s agricultural sector. In order to achieve these objectives, the Project has three technical components:

    • Providing technical support for policy formulation,
    • Engaging in policy communication activities to inform debate on agriculture and food security policy issues and
    • Capacity strengthening.

One of the major highlights under the policy formulation component for the Project was the launch of the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) by the President of the Republic of Malawi, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika in November 2016. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development approved the Contract Farming Strategy in August 2016. Furthermore, under Policy Communication the NAPAS:Malawi project supported the Ministries of Agriculture and Lands to co-organize two Land Symposiums in 2016 and 2017, and to organize the Agricultural Policy and Institutional Strengthening (APIS) workshop in September 2016, among other activities. Under capacity strengthening the project organized six trainings on: Budget and Policy Analysis and Monitoring and Evaluation Training (M&E), to state (12) and non-state actors (3). The Project also organized a series of media trainings on various topical agricultural issues to over 10 media houses across the country. In total 67 journalists (25 female) have been trained through short courses organized by the Project.

Currently, the Project is supporting the Ministry in finalizing the National Fertilizer Policy, the Farmer Organization Development Strategy (FODS), and value chain studies on tea, coffee, macadamia, tomato, mango, banana, groundnuts, pigeon peas, cassava, Irish potato, sweet potato, and yam. The Project has also embarked on supporting the Ministry to review the Special Crops Act and the Agriculture general Purposes Act.

In this issue, we have reported on some of the recent activities that the Project implemented. Please feel free to provide feedback by email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Progress on the Development of the National Fertilizer Policy

by Paida Mpaso -NAPAS: Malawi

Despite immense efforts by the Government of Malawi (GoM) in investing in fertilizers through the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) since the 2005/06 farming season, agriculture in Malawi continues to be characterized by low productivity. This is due to several reasons, including: high soil degradation, poor land management and farming practices, and use of low quantities and quality of fertilizers. This has been exacerbated by continuous tilage of the same pieces of land without fallowing or crop rotation, mainly due to high population pressure on the land, resulting in poor soil health and low response to fertilizers that are applied.

To address above issues, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) has drafted a National Fertilizer Policy (NFP). The NFP defines the vision for developing the fertilizer industry in Malawi to increase affordable and profitable access to high-quality fertilizer products for all farmers over the next five years. The draft is informed by research evidence and extensive consultation. Some of the research evidence comes from soil test analyses done by Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) and Department of Land Resource Conservation (DLRC) in almost all the districts of Malawi. The soil testing and mapping revealed a great need for private sector to start blending the right types of fertilizers for different geographic areas of Malawi. There is also need to advise stakeholders including farmers, on the right fertilizers for their area and abandon the blanket fertilizer recommendation the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has followed since 1975, with limited agricultural productivity results. The recommendation has been to apply 23:21:0+4S as basal fertilizer and UREA/CAN as top fertilizer throughout the whole country, where 23 represents Kgs of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and elements of Sulphur, respectively.


Fertilizer bags under the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) - Photo by Paida Mpaso

The research also shows that a large portion of Malawi’s soils is acidic and non-responsive to fertilizers that are applied, necessitating the need to address soil health issues. Some of the literature revealed relatively high usage of fertilizer in Malawi (55.8 kgs of nitrogen / ha in 2016/17), surpassing the Abuja Declaration of 2001 that recommended each African country to apply at least 50 Kgs of fertilizer per ha. However, this fertilizer usage is still very low relative to industrialized countries like US and China that apply 130kg/ha and 200kg/ha, respectively. The research also shows low Nitrogen Use Efficiency (average of 11.8 kg of maize per 1 kg of nitrogen applied (Darko et al., 2016)) while other countries like Kenya achieved higher (17.6 kgs of maize from 1 kg of nitrogen).

The low fertilizer use efficiency has been attributed to poor soil fertility management that has led to declining soil fertility and increasing soil acidity levels, among others. To promote higher response to fertilizer use, there is need to manage the soils better through integrated soil fertility management that, among others, involves intercropping legumes with maize, doing crop rotation, timely planting and weeding, timely and correct fertilizer application rates and proper crop residues management (Snapp et al., 2014).

Other research shows that although Malawi has a relatively well-developed policy framework for the fertilizer industry, there are inefficiencies in the way the policies are implemented (World Bank “Enabling the Business of Agriculture” 2017 report). The report ranked Malawi last out of 62 countries, on the high costs associated with registering a fertilizer product, which costs 3030% of per capita income. Similarly it takes an average of 913 days to register a fertilizer product in Malawi.

It is with this background that the MoAIWD is developing a National Fertilizer Policy with technical support from the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Project (NAPAS:Malawi). The Project is funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Michigan State University Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics as one of the policy project of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy. The process of developing the Policy started in November 2015 with DARS convening the first consultation with researchers, private sector and other stakeholders in the fertilizer industry. A total of 45 stakeholders attended (10 female).


Participants during breakaway session at the first fertilizer policy consultations, Crossroads Hotel, Lilongwe, November 2015. Photo by Charles Mwenda

Following this, consultations with 115 community stakeholders from several districts in all the regions of Malawi were conducted between April and May 2016. The Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET) joined NAPAS:Malawi in supporting the MoAIWD to conduct the community consultations. One-on-one consultations with 32 private sector stakeholders were also conducted between June and July 2016. From these inputs and evidence from the literature, a zero draft of the policy was produced.

The Ministry then organized regional stakeholder consultations on the zero NFP draft, also with support of NAPAS:Malawi and USAID funding. The first regional consultation was held in Mzuzu, on 4th of August 2017 with 70 participants (63 males and 7 females) that included public officials, agro dealers, farmers and farmer organizations, civil society, private sector and researchers/academia. In her opening remarks, at this consultation, Chief of Party (COP) for NAPAS:Malawi, Dr. Flora Nankhuni said that, “agricultural productivity is very low partly due to increasing population pressure in that, as a country, we mine the same piece of land over and over again, and this creates problems on the quality of the soils.”

The second regional consultation was held on 15th of August 2017 in Blantyre with 76 participants (64 males and 12 females). The final regional consultation was held in Lilongwe, on 22nd August 2017 with 115 participants (96 males and 19 females). During the three consultations, several critical issues emerged, including: soil health; soil testing and analysis; and lack of agricultural extension and advisory services on soil health issues. The soil analyses included describing the soil fertility status including soil pH, which measures the level of acidity in the soil and micronutrient composition of the soil. Previous soil analyses revealed that about 40% of Malawi soils were acidic. Preliminary results of the current soil tests are indicating a worsening of the acidity problem.

At the Lilongwe consultation meeting, Alliance for African Partnership Director at Michigan State University and Chair of the Malawi Planning Commission, Professor Richard Mkandawire, commented that the agenda on fertilizer should speak to larger challenges of soil health, because Malawi’s soils are the most depleted in the region. He further commented that Malawi is well positioned to lead the growth of the fertilizer sector because the per capital consumption of fertilizer is much higher than in many countries in the region. He emphasized the need to have a strong fertilizer policy framework to inform the future direction of the fertilizer industry in Malawi.

The Draft Policy was validated on the 28th of March 2018. The plan is to submit it to the Office of the President and Cabinet  (OPC) in April 2018.

Monitoring and Evaluation Summary Training Report

by Zephania Nyirenda, Policy Analyst, NAPAS: Malawi

A Monitoring and Evaluation Training was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), with technical and financial support from the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS: Malawi) project, that is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), at Linde Motel from 3rd to 6th October 2017.

Photo: Athur Mabiso, former IFPRI policy analyst, stressing a point during the M&E training at Linde Motel-Lilongwe (photo by Paida Mpaso)


The aim of the training was to provide participants with knowledge on development of a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning system for the agriculture sector. The training attracted 22 participants, which were drawn from government, civil society organizations as well as development partners. The much anticipated training also gave participants hands-on-experience in developing the 2016–17 Agriculture Sector Performance Report. As a result of this and previous trainings, the Ministry was able to deliver the first AU-CAADP-Malabo Biennal Report and the 2017 Agriculture Sector Performance Report.

The first day of the training started with presentations from NAPAS: Malawi Staff on concepts of M&E and the process of developing a systematic, and automatic monitoring, evaluation and learning system for the sector. Two presentations were made by NAPAS:Malawi team (Agriculture Sector Monitoring, Evaluation
& Learning (Ag-MEaL) by Athur Mabiso, PhD; and by Zephania Nyirenda). At the end of the two presentations, participants made the following contributions on what the sector monitoring, evaluation and learning system should embody. 

    • Development of the agriculture integrated M&E system should encompass all the indicators and data used in all sector specific reports such as the AU-CAADP Malabo Biannual Report and Joint Sector Report among others.
    • There is a need to migrate from manual to electronic data recording.
    • Data gaps appearing in the food balance sheet need to be filled.
    • Indicators for all reports need to be consolidated and a template for data collection should be developed.
    • Non-state actors need to contribute to the development as well as utilization of the integrated system. The involvement of non-state actors will help to ensure that relevant information held by them is timely submitted and updated in the system.
    • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) needs to be developed for proper coordination with non-state actors with regards to the integrated system.
    • In the process of developing the integrated system, it is important to learn how other Ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development as well as other countries have developed their integrated systems.
    • The statistics unit in MoAIWD will be conducting a study on Post-Harvest Losses (PHL) with support from FAO. They will use a new methodology on a number of crops with focus on time of harvesting, transportation and storage. These indicators need to be part of the system.
    • There is a need for sustainability plans for all projects in the Ministry, as previously non-coordinated projects have not helped strengthen the M&E system. 
    • Staff from the agriculture sector needs to have relevant capacity to manage the integrated system. Refresher training courses would be important to ensure sustainability of the system.

These contributions from stakeholders have formed the basis for the development of a new system (The National Agriculture Management Information System (NAMIS)). The NAPAS: Malawi project will continue to work closely with the MoAIWD by providing technical and financial support in the development of a sector wide M&E and Learning system.

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Reintroduces Food Security Bulletin

Paida Mpaso -NAPAS: Malawi and Dr. Dominic Nkhoma -MoAIWD

The Secretary for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), Gray Nyandule-Phiri has endorsed the re-introduction of a food security bulletin, initially to be produced on a quarterly basis and later on a monthly basis. The bulletins will provide accurate and timely information on the food situation in Malawi at any point in time. It will also be a vehicle for strengthening transparency and accountability in the delivery of food and nutrition security programmes.

The bulletin will cover a wide range of topics including up to date food balance sheets, food stocks held by different stakeholders, weather updates, agriculture production information, the FISP Programme, and updates on food related interventions such as Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) reports.

According to the Director of Agricultural Planning Services in the Ministry, Alex Namaona, the bulletin “will improve the policy processes in the sector as well as stakeholder engagement. We already have resources under the Malawi Recovery and Resilience Project (MDRRP) and technical assistance from the NAPAS: Malawi Project to support us in producing the bulletin.”

NAPAS: Malawi is a project of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy (FSP) which is funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Michigan State University (MSU) coordinates FSP in partnership with IFPRI and the University of Pretoria.

Improving the Quality of Journalism in Malawi

Paida Mpaso -NAPAS: Malawi

For the past three years, since 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) through the Department of Agricultural Extensions Services (DAES), with the support of the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS) project, began engaging the media on issues of evidence-based agricultural journalism and reporting. As part of these efforts, four trainings workshops were conducted between 2015 and 2016. In addition, a media interface meeting with Media Chief Executives was also organized on 4th December 2015.  The purpose was to brief the CEOs about MoAIWD/NAPAS’s planned journalist trainings and to develop a relationship between media houses and the MoAIWD. A total of 23 CEOs/their representatives including six women, attended the meeting.

The first training, which was held from the 15th–16th February 2016, at Mount Soche Hotel, Blantyre, Malawi, brought together leading media houses and key stakeholders in the agriculture sector for agriculture policy communication training. A total of 36 participants (13 female), participated.

See The Nation, February 16, 2018 article: Improve Agricultural Reporting, Govt asks media

The second journalist training was from 18th–22nd April 2016, at Mount Soche Hotel, Blantyre, Malawi. The training was jointly organized with the University of Pretoria. A total of 24 (11 females) participants were trained. The training enhanced the journalists with skills to not only identify their role in policy processes, but also be able to communicate emerging agriculture issues for better impact. Find more information about the trainings: Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 35.

The third training was titled, Agriculture Ethics: Avoiding Fake News. The training addressed ethical issues in dealing with anonymous sources, leaked or classified information. The following activities also ensued; a panel discussion on the pitfalls of using media for advocacy, a discussion led by the Ministry of Information on how government interfaces with the media, and perspectives from community radio stations on evidence-based reporting of agricultural issues. There were 33 journalists from print, radio, and electronic as well as online media. A total of 50 articles were produced by the journalists as a direct outcome of the training.


Journalists interviewing Dr. Jean Pankomera at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe - Photo by Paida Mpaso

These efforts have resulted in the establishment of a Media Network on Agriculture Network, (MENA) which has over 60 members all reporting on agriculture-related issues. The Network is finalizing its registration process among others. For continuity, members of the Media Network would appreciate if more well-wishers could join efforts in furthering their skills and professional development. The contact person for the Network is Mike Kamande (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 265- 888-856567).


Journalists during a panel discussion on Journalism Ethics in Agriculture
June training- Lilongwe- 2017. Photo by Paida Mpaso



Strengthening Farmer Organizations in Malawi

by Paida Mpaso and Dr. Christone Nyondo - NAPAS:Malawi

Farmer Organizations (FOs) are critical for achieving economies of scale in production, accessing inputs and output markets and support services, especially for smallholder farmers. In addition, FOs are critical for strengthening farmers’ bargaining position in markets and making their voices heard in the policy space. However, few of existing FOs in Malawi are functional. Some have struggled to sustain themselves after closure of the projects that established them. Some of the constraints facing FOs are:

a)  Weak capitalization;
b)  Weak governance;
c)  Lack of business skills by individual members of FOs;
d)  Founder syndrome and elite capture;
e)  Lack of market information; and
f)   High dependency on external support.

The Government of Malawi (GoM) made efforts to address these constraints through introduction of the Cooperative Development Policy (CDP) in 1997 and Cooperative Societies Act (CSA) in 1998. However, little progress has been made in developing effective Farmer Organizations. This is why the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) 2016 and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) 2018 includes strengthening Farmer’s Organisations as one way of achieving commercialization of Agriculture in Malawi. The New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support Project (NAPAS:Malawi) is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) to develop a Farmer Organisation Development Strategy (FODS) with funding from United States Agency for International Development  (USAID).

The FODS will among other things:

a)  Provide a framework for increased bargaining power for better input and output prices for farmers;
b)  Promote increased access to farm inputs and agricultural finance by farmers;
c)  Help reduce unemployment and increase the purchasing power and real wages of farmers by connecting them to economic opportunities with greater remunerative potential

As one way of ensuring that views from stakeholders are incorporated in the Strategy, six steps were undertaken as follows:

Farmer organization event: This was the first consultation event on development of the FODS. It was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD) with technical and financial support of the NAPAS: Malawi Project. The event took place in June 2016 and attracted at least 182 participants (40 females or 22%) from 129 farmer and civil society organizations, cooperatives, associations and other farmer groups. Farmer answered 13 questions relating to the challenges they are facing in their FOs, what interventions they think should be implemented to address them and what their priorities regarding the development of FOs are. Among other issues, farmers indicated that the FODS should emphasize cooperatives over other forms of farmer organizations.


Dr. Albert Changaya, making his opening remarks at the National Consultation on the zero draft of the FODS, 27th February 2018 - Photo by Paida Mpaso

Literature review: The second step focused on reviewing literature on the theory of cooperatives, the status of agricultural cooperatives in Malawi and how farmer organizations, such as cooperatives, or farmer associations could be run as successful business entities.

FODS Stakeholder Consultations: The third step involved administering a short survey to various stakeholder organizations. A total of 28 government, private and non-governmental organizations were interviewed on FO related issues (e.g. on capacity building, access to finance, data management, among others).

The fourth step was a Cooperative Sector Mapping Study Dissemination Conference organized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism with technical and financial support of GIZ, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), NAPAS:Malawi and other stakeholders that were part of the task force overseeing review of the Cooperative Policy and Development of the Cooperative strategy and the FODS. The event was held on 11–12 October 2017, with 35 participants in attendance. Other participants present were We-effect, Farmers Union of Malawi (FUM), National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (NASFAM) and Malawi Union of Savings and Credit Cooperatives (MUSCCO).

The fifth step was the drafting of the FODS background paper and the FODS zero draft.

The sixth step was the National Consultation on the zero draft of the FODS. The zero draft was presented on 27th of February 2018. Eighty-four participants belonging to cooperatives, farmer associations, farmer clubs and anchor farms, came from the three regions of Malawi to attend the workshop. Among the prominent participants was the President of the Farmers Union of Malawi, Mr. Alfred Kapichira Banda who commended the inclusion of youth participants at the consultation. He implored the government to seriously figure out how the agricultural sector can be made attractive to youths (e.g. by encouraging mechanization). He lamented the fact that after 54 years of independence from the Colonial Government, Malawians are still using a hoe to farm.

The Controller of Agricultural Extension and Technical Services (CAETS), Dr. Albert Changaya, said that one of the strategies outlined in the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) under priority area number 8 “institutional development, coordination and capacity strengthening” is to “promote the development of professionally-operated and efficient farmer organizations, particularly cooperatives.” Therefore, the Ministry came up with this Strategy in recognition of the critical role farmer organizations play in promoting economies of scale in production, increasing the bargaining position of farmers in the market place and making farmers’ voices heard in the policy space.

He further said that the development of the FODS was also recognized as an important area of policy reform in the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition Cooperation Framework that Malawi signed to in December 2013. His speech can be accessed here.

Assistant Chief Agricultural Extension Officer (ACAEO) Pearson Soko said that a comprehensive capacity building programme for farmer organizations is critical if the Strategy is to achieve the desired results. He said that the relevant ministries and departments, including non-governmental organizations must take up their role to train farmers, otherwise, registering cooperatives is not enough.

Further, Soko highlighted the need for a robust marketing strategy for all farmer organizations saying, it’s important that the registered cooperatives must have a clear and spelt out marketing strategy for their produce.

NAPAS: Malawi Policy Analyst, Dr. Christone Nyondo said, “If fully implemented, the Farmer Organization Strategy (FODS) will be a real game charger in the farmer organizations movement in Malawi because it will facilitate the integration of smallholders into remunerative markets, thereby lifting them out of subsistence farming and poverty.”

The FODS is planned to be validated and submitted to the MoAIWD for adoption and implementation in April 2018.

VIDEO: Encouraging and Strengthening Cooperatives


NAPAS: Malawi CoP Lectures on Agriculture and Food Security Policies

NAPAS: Malawi Chief of Party Engages LUANAR, USA Students and a Development Partner on Agricultural, Food Security and Nutrition Policy Processes in Malawi
by Paida Mpaso, NAPAS: Malawi

The Chief of Party for the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS: Malawi) Project, Dr. Flora Nankhuni delivered a lecture to postgraduate students pursuing Masters and PhD degrees in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) on 12th February, 2018. The students are taking a course on Policy Analysis and Project Planning, taught by Professor Emmanuel Kaunda.

The lecture titled, Agricultural, Nutrition and Food Security Policy Processes in Malawi was delivered to acquaint the students with knowledge on policy development processes both at national and international levels.

For example, she touched on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which is an African Union (AU)-led initiative aimed at helping African countries achieve higher levels of economic growth through agriculture-led development. She also explained how the Government of Malawi has aligned its agricultural policies to the CAADP and has prioritized agriculture as a driver of economic growth while recognizing food security as a pre-requisite for economic growth and wealth creation.

In describing the policy process, Dr. Flora Nankhuni introduced the students to the Kaleidoscope Model, which was developed by researchers from IFPRI and Michigan State University (Resnick et. al 2015).

She described the main/underlying factors that influence policy change at each stage: the agenda setting; design; adoption; implementation; and evaluation and reform. Of particular interest was a demonstration of how beliefs and relative power of stakeholders influence adoption of policies. She used an example of the maize export ban that was removed in October 2017 only to be re-instated in February 2018 due to government’s strong belief that a shortage of food would occur if the export ban remained in place when the current dry spells and fall army worms are affecting maize yields. She also gave an example of how relative bargaining power of soya processors versus development partners caused a similar quick shift in placing and uplifting a soya export ban within a short period of time.

Some of the questions on the presentation included whether Fisheries stakeholders were adequately represented in development of the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP).


Dr. Flora Nankhuni, Chief of Party, NAPAS:Malawi, during the lecture. Photo by Paida Mpaso

In responding to the lecture, LUANAR professor, Dr. Emmanuel Kaunda said, “Our postgraduate students are taught courses like ‘Policy Development and Analysis’ which is very important. Policy is what drives development of a nation, and when one considers the experience of Dr. Flora Nankhuni in the policy arena, they will understand that she is a great resource to our country and students. My expectation was confirmed today when she delivered the lecture. She brought practical experience into theory and made national, regional and continental policies real to students.” Professor Kaunda also encouraged the students to keep abreast of current news so that they are aware of what is happening outside their world at LUANAR. This was emphasized, as none of them knew about the recently formulated National Planning Commission.


Dr. Flora Nankhuni and the Deputy Director of Crops Dr. Eviness Nyalugwe with American University/College students at the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, in Lilongwe, Malawi. Photo by Joseph Kanyamuka

Earlier during the week, Dr. Flora Nankhuni also delivered two other presentations on Malawi’s Policies in Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition to the Japanese Ambassador to Malawi and her team, at the Japanese Embassy and to a group of 25 students from the United States of America (USA) that visited Malawi to learn about agricultural policy making, food security and agricultural decision making. Most of the discussions revolved around the Farm Input Subsidy Programme and its effectiveness, how smallholder farmers can effectively be engaged in commercialization efforts and on policy processes within the agriculture sector.


FSG Quarterly Updates - October 1, 2017–January 31, 2018

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy is one of the major projects of the MSU Food Security Group. Below are the publications issued from this research work for the period of October 1, 2017–January 31, 2018. Other FSG publications for this period are available here. Outreach presentations are available here.


  • The Transformation of Value Chains in Africa: Evidence from the First Large Survey of Maize Traders
. Policy Research Brief 56. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Thomas Reardon, Awa Sanou, Wale Ogunleye, Iredele Ogunbayo, Bolarin T. Omonona. January 2018

  • Evaluation du processus d’élaboration des politiques agricoles et de sécurité alimentaire par les intervenants au Mali.
 Policy Research Brief 55 - FR. Abdramane Traoré, Amadou Samaké, Ousmane Sanogo, Steven Haggblade et Mywish Maredia. December 2017

  • Intrahousehold Productivity Differentials and Land Quality in the Sudanian Savanna of Mali
. Policy Research Brief 54. Melinda Smale, Veronique Theriault, Hamza Haider, and Alpha Kergna. November 2017

  • The Scope and Scale of Processed Food Retailing in Urban Mali
. Policy Research Brief 53. Veronique Theriault, Ryan Vroegindewey, Amidou Assima, and Naman Keita. November 2017

  • Défis réglementaires en Afrique de l’Ouest: Etablir des réglementations régionales sur les pesticides en période de croissance rapide du marché. Policy Research Brief 52 - FR. Amadou Diarra et Steven Haggblade. Novembre 2017

  • Regulatory Challenges in West Africa: Instituting Regional Pesticide Regulations during a Period of Rapid Market Growth. 
Policy Research Brief 52 - EN. Amadou Diarra and Steven Haggblade. November 2017 

  • Fertilizer Subsidy Impact on Sorghum and Maize Productivity in the Sudanian Savanna of Mali
. Policy Research Brief 51. Veronique Theriault, Melinda Smale, and Amidou Assima, November 2017

  • Trends in West African Pesticide Markets
. Policy Research Brief 49. Steven Haggblade and Amadou Diarra, October 2017

  • Does Sustainable Intensification of Maize Production Enhance Child Nutrition? Evidence from Rural Tanzania. Policy Research Brief 48. Jongwoo Kim, Nicole M. Mason, and Sieglinde Snapp. October 2017

  • The Role of the Locations of Public Sector Varietal Development Activities on Agricultural Productivity. Policy Research Brief 47. Hiroyuki Takeshima and Abdullahi Mohammed Nasir, October 2017


  • Yield Response of Dryland Cereals in Mali to Fertilizer: Insights from Household Survey Data
. Research Paper 92. Hamza Haider, Melinda Smale and Véronique Thériault. January 2018

  • The Transformation of Value Chains in Africa: Evidence from the First Large Survey of Maize Traders in Nigeria. 
Research Paper 91. Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, Thomas Reardon, Awa Sanou, Wale Ogunleye, Iredele Ogunbayo, Bolarin T. Omonona. January 2018

  • Food Safety in the Rapid Transformation of Food Systems in Africa: Aflatoxins along the Maize Value
. Research Paper 90. Oluwatoyin Ademola, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie and Adewale Obadina. December 2017

  • Assessment of the Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Policy Processes and Institutional Architecture in Tanzania: Results of the 2016 Stakeholder Survey. 
Research Paper 89. Edith Lazaro and Mywish K. Maredia. December 2017

  • Prospects for the Sectoral Transformation of the Rural Economy in Tanzania: A Review of the Evidence. 
Research Paper 88. Todd Benson, Josee Randriamamonjy, Peixun Fang, David Nyange, James Thurlow, and Xinshen Diao, December 2017

  • Can Input Subsidy Programs Contribute to Climate Smart Agriculture? 
Research Paper 87. T.S. Jayne, Nicholas J. Sitko, and Nicole M. Mason. November 2017

  • Macroeconomic Factor Influence on Agricultural Program Sustainability in Kaduna State, Nigeria
. Research Paper 86. Patrick L. Hatzenbuehler and George Mavrotas. November 2017

  • Constraints for Small-scale Private Irrigation Systems in the North Central Zone of Nigeria
. Research Paper 85. Hiroyuki Takeshima and Hyacinth Edeh. November 2017

  • Subnational Variation in Policy Implementation: The Case of Nigerian Land Governance Reform
. Research Paper 84. Danielle Resnick and Austen Okumo. November 2017

  • Study of the Determinants of Chronic Malnutrition in Northern Nigeria: Quantitative evidence from the Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys. 
Research Paper 83. Mulubrhan Amare, Todd Benson, Olusegun Fadare, and Motunrayo Oyeyemi. November 2017 

  • Study of the Determinants of Chronic Malnutrition in Northern Nigeria: Qualitative Evidence from Qualitative Evidence from Kebbi and Bauchi States. Research Paper 82. Todd Benson, Mulubrhan Amare, Motunrayo Oyeyemi, and Olusegun Fadare. November 2017
  • Does Sustainable Intensification of Maize Production Enhance Child Nutrition? Evidence from Rural Tanzania. Research Paper 80. Jongwoo Kim, Nicole M. Mason, and Sieglinde Snapp. October 2017
  • Factor Market Activity and the Inverse Farm Size-Productivity Relationship in Tanzania. Research Paper 79. Ayala Wineman and Thomas S. Jayne. October 2017
  • Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, and Awa Sanou. 2017. Are African Farmers Experiencing Improved Incentives to Use Fertilizer? Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 78. East Lansing: Michigan State University.
  • Farmland Concentration and Rural Income Growth: Evidence from Tanzania. Research Paper 77. Jordan Chamberlin and T. S. Jayne. October 2017
  • Résultats de l’Enquête de Base de l’Evaluation du Processus de l’Elaboration des Politiques Agricoles et de Sécurité Alimentaire par les Intervenants au Mali. Research Paper 76 - FR. Abdramane Traoré, Amadou Samaké, Ousmane Sanogo, Steven Haggblade and Mywish Maredia. Octobre 2017
  • A Stakeholder Assessment of Agricultural Policy Processes in Mali: Results of a Baseline Survey. Research Paper 76 - EN. Abdramane Traoré, Amadou Samaké, Ousmane Sanogo, Steven Haggblade and Mywish Maredia. October 2017
  • Institutional Architecture and Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Processes in Zambia. Research Paper 75. Hambulo Ngoma, Nicholas J Sitko, Thomas Jayne, Antony Chapoto, and Mywish Maredia. October 2017
  • Scrutinizing the Status Quo: Rural Transformation and Land Tenure Security in Nigeria. Research Paper 73. Hosaena Ghebru and Fikirte Girmachew. October 2017
  • The Role of the Locations of Public Sector Varietal Development Activities on Agricultural Productivity. Research Paper 72. Hiroyuki Takeshima and Abdullahi Mohammed Nasir. October 2017


  • Rapid transformation of Food Systems in Developing Regions: Highlighting the role of agricultural research & innovations. Thomas Reardon, Ruben Echeverria, Julio Berdegué, Bart Minten, Saweda Liverpool-Tasie, David Tschirley, David Zilberman. 2018. Rapid transformation of Food Systems in Developing Regions: Highlighting the role of agricultural research & innovations. Agricultural Systems, accepted January 2018.
  • Farm Family Effects of Adopting Improved and Hybrid Sorghum Seed in the Sudan Savanna of West Africa. Smale, M., Assima, A., Kergna, A., Theriault, V., and Weltzien, E. 2018. Farm family effects of adopting improved and hybrid sorghum seed in the Sudan Savanna of West Africa. Food Policy, 74 (January): 162-171.
  • Links among innovation, food system transformation, and technology adoption, with implications for food policy: Overview of a Special Issue. Reardon, T., L. Lu, D. Zilberman. 2017. Food Policy. October 27.



Nigeria Visiting Scholars 2018-19, Extended Application Deadline

Call for Applications: Extended Submission Deadline (February 28, 2018) and Greater Geographic Scope (open to ALL states in Nigeria)

''The Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project is funded by the Nigeria Mission of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and implemented jointly by Michigan State University (MSU) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

The overall project has three principal objectives:

1) Strengthen the national capacity for greater evidence based policy processes in agriculture by increasing the capacity of Nigerian analysts to undertake and make widely available relevant evidence-based policy analysis;

2) Promote and foster informed policy dialogue among all stakeholders in the agricultural sector through an inclusive, transparent, and sustainable process at the country level, building blocks for a well-integrated and developed national policy system;

3) Support federal and state government efforts to improve their capacities to plan and implement effective policy analyses and programs, as well as to demand and absorb policy research in their policy process.

Nigerian Visiting Scholars Program

Toward component 1), the project offers a visiting scholars program. Short-term Project Scholar positions for Nigerian graduate students (studying at an accredited Nigerian university) are offered at Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing, Michigan, USA, during August 2018–May 2019. FIVE short-term post graduate student scholar positions are on offer for either Master’s or PhD level. The Master’s Level positions are for 1 semester, and the PhD Level, 2 semesters.

Project scholars will enroll in analytical/technical courses such as Statistics, Econometrics and Agricultural Development. The courses will be taken for credit, and depending on the Nigerian University requirements, would count towards the scholars’ Nigerian degree program. Also, while at MSU, the scholar will be expected to continue research work on their selected topic or a topic of interest to project stakeholders in Nigeria in addition to the course work. They will work under the supervision of MSU faculty/IFPRI researchers. The scholars’ tenure will be considered a full-time position with the expectation that the scholar will invest the requisite amount of work, study and time to be successful. Upon return home, scholars will be expected to support project activities (as determined by the project) based on their skills and competencies.

The student’s primary research supervisor (from a Nigerian University) will actively participate in the program. The advisor will be invited (and funded) to visit MSU for up to 30 calendar days and occur within the duration of the residence at MSU of their student, the short-term scholar. The research supervisor invitation has three accompanying obligations:

1) Give at least one presentation in the faculty of agriculture or an African studies research forum
2) Interact with MSU faculty in related areas. This interchange will enhance on-going research collaboration between MSU faculty, IFPRI researchers and Nigerian scholars.
3) Upon return to Nigeria, the professor will organize presentations and seminars for students at department, faculty and university levels at the home institution..


  • Nigerians studying in the area of Agriculture, at Post Graduate level in an accredited higher education institution in Nigeria
  • Good academic standing in their academic institution having the equivalent of a minimum GPA of 3.5 out of 5 (or equivalent for a 2nd class, upper division).
  • Good moral standing and found to be a fit and proper persons and in no way have any pending disciplinary cases before a duly recognized and constituted disciplinary body.
  • Demonstrated interest in an area being studied by researchers working under the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project.
  • Accept the responsibilities attached to participation.

Evaluation Criteria

Candidates will be selected on the basis of their previous research and academic achievements, the short write-up (included in the application packet), GPA, their ability to demonstrate strong commitment to research and their academic advisor’s willingness to participate in the program.

What the Short-Term Visiting Scholars Program Will Cover

  • Travel related costs, lodging and meals. Travel related costs are limited to visa fees, visa procurement, and round trip air tickets from Nigeria to East Lansing, Michigan USA.
  • Monthly stipend of $1,000. Up to 4 months for the Master’s Level, and up to 9 months for the PhD level.
  • Medical insurance for the duration of the Project Scholar’s MSU program.
  • No support whatsoever is provided for dependents.

Items to submit

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  1. A completed expression of interest application form
  2. A short write-up on the role of research in the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Process and how the applicant’s work fits into this (no more than 2 pages double spaced).
  3. A writing sample (e.g. research paper, chapter of University Project/Thesis etc.)
  4. Official Copy of Student’s academic transcripts
  5. Updated CV showing publications and awards
  6. A letter of recommendation from the applicant’s head of department or dean on official letter headed paper
  7. A statement from applicant’s primary academic advisor indicating willingness to support the application and the advisor’s availability to work with the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project and participate under the Academic Advisor segment of the Award.

Submission: e-mail address and deadline

Application documents must be submitted to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by midnight on 28 February 2018. The email should have on the subject line: Application for 2018-2019 FTFNAPP Short-Term Visiting Scholar Program at MSU. All application materials need to be submitted as attachments to a single e-mail, preferably in a “zip” file. Successful applicants who have been shortlisted will receive word of acceptance and details on next steps by April 1, 2018.

All enquiries related to this call should be addressed to: Project Specialist, Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48823 and submitted to:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For your information (not necessary to apply)
Appendix A: Ongoing and likely Research Topics of the Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project
Appendix B: Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project Short-Term Visiting Scholar Responsibilities
Appendix C: Conditions of Sponsorship for U.S.-Based Activities


VIDEO of the Visiting Scholars Program

The Policy Analysis Group (PAG)

PAG is an informal community of practice and voluntary group with members working on agricultural policy projects and initiatives, including NGOs, non-state actors, private sector, academia and think tanks. The group has over 20 members, of which ASPIRES is among. The group provides a platform for sharing information on policy research and activities to enhance coordination, collaboration and synergies. PAG also aims at ensuring consistency in policy messaging. Established in 2013, the Policy Analysis Group (PAG) responds to the need for a coordination platform for policy reforms.

PAG’s objectives are:

    • To create consistency in policy messaging,
    • To ensure alignment of policy projects towards a common goal,
    • To build local capacity in policy analysis for sustainability. 

PAG provides a platform for sharing information on policy research and activities. PAG members collaborate to ensure consistency in policy messaging based on PAG members’ comparative advantages in the implementation of agricultural policy activities in Tanzania.

As an outcome example, ASPIRES collaborated with AGRA, Africa Lead, PS3, and the Government of Tanzania (Ministry of Agriculture & President’s Office - Regional Administration and Local Government) to roll out the Capacity Building and Socialization workshops on the Agricultural Sector Development Program (ASDP II) which built the capacity of 960 LGA leadership individuals from across 184 LGAs, including 122 District Commissioners (DCs), 20 Regional Commissioners (RCs) and 24 Regional Administrative Secretaries (RASs).

The PAG also holds its flagship annual high level policy dialogue known as the Annual Agricultural Policy Conference (AAPC; see AAPC 2017). The Conference brings together key stakeholders working on agricultural policy projects and initiatives to share key empirical findings from ongoing research in the agricultural sector, and deliberate on the challenges, opportunities, emerging issues and potential areas for further collaboration.

PAG’s 20 members include:



Outcome Stories

A Policy Reform Boosts Business and Promotes Diversification: The E-Voucher Program in Zambia

''Evidence brought together by the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute, a think-tank supported in part by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy has persuaded the government of Zambia to revise the mode of delivering its Farmer Input Support Program (FISP) to an electronic voucher payment system (e-FSIP). The e-FISP has improved targeting and efficiency of this program, which includes flexibility to purchase agricultural inputs beyond maize seed and fertilizer, so farmers can purchase what they need most. It has also made the input sector more attractive to private investors, and helped agricultural diversification. FULL STORY


From Paper to Digital: E-Payment Benefits Tanzanian Local Governments and Taxpayers

''Tanzania’s Local Government Authorities (LGAs) had been using a paper and pen system to process taxes for years but it was very difficult to monitor the local tax collection. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy’s Agricultural Sector Policy and Institutional Reform Strengthening (ASPIRES) recommended the government of Tanzania to implement an e-payment system. It has proven transparent, reliable, and more efficient for both the Local Government Authorities and the taxpayers. FULL STORY


How to Tell Fake from Real? Consequences of Rapid Herbicide Market Growth in Mali and West Africa

''Over the past decade, herbicide use has increased rapidly, in Mali and throughout West Africa, with many counterfeit products available. Recent research by the Feed the Future’s Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy’s (FSP) Mali Food Security Policy Research Program shows that out of 100 bottles of glyphosate herbicide purchased for laboratory testing, 40% turned out to be counterfeit or unregistered. No wonder farmers consistently report widely differing outcomes, even when they buy the same herbicide from the same supplier. Researchers from the FSP Mali team and the West Africa buy-in project are now working with the regional pesticide regulatory body, the Comité Sahélien des Pesticides (CSP), to identify the magnitude of the quality problem in the region, and seek potential policy solutions. FULL STORY


“Freedom of Crop Choice” Brings Prosperity to Myanmar’s Farmers

Until recently, the government of Myanmar, previously called Burma, forced all farmers with designated paddy land to grow only rice on these plots. The goal was to ensure national self-sufficiency in rice production. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy in Myanmar has advocated for relaxing these restrictions, to allow farmers the freedom to farm whichever crops they prefer. The government was responsive to these messages, and lifted restrictions on the choice of field crops that could be grown on paddy land. Already, after only a couple of years of this policy reform, the freedom of crop choice has allowed farmers to earn more income by growing high demand crops such as mung beans. FULL STORY

Coffee Means Cash in Rwanda

''Coffee plays a central role for 355,000 rural households in Rwanda, and the cherry price can mean the difference between an unbreakable cycle of rural poverty and a country with thriving communities across all of its districts, not just the urban areas. The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy’s Africa Great Lakes Coffee Support Program (AGLC) provided the National Agricultural Export Development Board (NAEB) with findings that established the cost of production of coffee to farmers. These results served as a basis for a substantial adjustment in the national coffee floor price. FULL STORY


From Data Collection to Policy Implementation in Nigeria

To better understand how to maximize the potential of a cash crop such as rice, and to prioritize policy actions, data have been collected by the government agencies in Nigeria, but sound analysis of this data at the State level to guide policies has been lacking. In response to this capacity building need at local government level, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy (FSP), Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, has designed and offered a series of training workshops for state government staff. These resulted in the publication and dissemination of State Policy Notes to inform the government and executive policy makers. FULL STORY


Empowering an Agricultural Policy Research System: The Case of the Network of Local Centers of Expertise in Senegal

''Senegal has several excellent agricultural research institutions to inform and support policy. But these institutions have worked in isolation for decades, with little coordination and collaborations. The Feed the Future Senegal Agriculture Policy Project (PAPA) has transformed the way research to inform policy is done by creating the Local Analysis Network that regroups Senegal’s centers of expertise. This is the first analysis network in the sub region and, as defined in the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS), it is a new tool and concept central to support evidence-based policy making. FULL STORY


Red Cherries and Rwandan Farmers Who Do it Right

With coffee price increases, some farmers might be tempted to pick under-ripe cherries to boost their earnings. This behavior hurts farmers who bring only the perfect pick. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy’s Africa Great Lakes Coffee Support Program (AGLC) offered support to the National Agricultural Export and Development Board (NAEB) in the form of data and research to help change policies and prevent this kind of “cheating,” at the expense of farmers who do it right. FULL STORY


State Policy Notes

Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture staff must provide robust scientific evidence to guide the Ministry’s policy making process. The Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project offers training and information workshops in economics research to strengthen and expand this staff’s skills and knowledge.

As a result of these workshops, the participants are producing technical notes on their specialized field of study. These are published as the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project State Policy Notes series.

State Policy Note 1 - Yakubu Gorah, Elias A.G. Manza, Joseph Ationg and Danjuma B. Tyuka. May 2017. Promoting Soybean Productivity in Kaduna State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 2 - Bello Shehu and Abubakar Lolo. May 2017. Promoting Rice Productivity in Kebbi State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 3 - Jude Ekpu and John Chiwuzulum Odozi. May 2017. Promoting Maize Productivity in Edo State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 4 - Chukwuma Okereke, Okpani Ndukwe, Emmanuel Oroke and Onwe Peace. May 2017. Promoting Rice Productivity in Ebonyi State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 5 - Martina Ubi, C. E. Ofuka and Iknogha Odey. May 2017. Promoting Productivity in Rice Production in Cross River State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 6 - Samuel Adeogun, Ngozi Adeleye, Siraj Fashola, Evans Osabuohien. May 2017. Promoting Cassava Production in Ogun State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 7 - Stella Ovie Egedi And Johnson Nikoro. June 2017. Promoting Cassava Productivity in Delta State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 8 - Simon A. Ityo and Abayol Luper. June 2017. Promoting Cassava Productivity in Benue State: Linking Data and Policy

State Policy Note 9 - Mohammed Musa and Alhassan Umar. July 2017. Promoting Rice Productivity in Niger State: Linking Data and Policy

True or Not, So What?

#1 - Medium-scale farmers (5–20 ha) are the fastest growing segment of farmers across Sub-Saharan Africa.

#2 - Own production remains the dominant source of food consumption for nearly all African farmers.

#3 - The number of people employed in agriculture continues to rise across Africa.

#4 - Input subsidy programs hurt the potential for climate-smart agriculture.

#5 - Diet change towards purchased meats, oils, and processed food is occurring rapidly among the poor in both rural and urban areas of Africa.

#6 - Urban market demand for food exceeds rural market demand in all regions of Africa.

Zambia - FSP Research Papers

Zambia - Peer Reviewed Publications

Zambia - FSP Policy Research Briefs

West Africa Region - Peer Reviewed Publications

West Africa Region - FSP Research Papers

West Africa Region - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Tanzania - Policy Reform Briefs

Tanzania - FSP Research Papers

Tanzania - Peer Reviewed Publications

Tanzania - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Senegal - Peer Reviewed Publications

Senegal - FSP Research Papers

Senegal - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Myanmar - Research Highlights

Myanmar - Research Highlights

Nigeria - Highlights

Nigeria - Peer Reviewed Publications

Nigeria - FSP Research Papers

Nigeria - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Mali - Peer Reviewed Publications

Mali - FSP Research Papers

Mali - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Malawi - Peer Reviewed Publications

Malawi - FSP Research Papers

Malawi - FSP Policy Research Briefs

Myanmar - FSP Research Papers

Myanmar - Peer Reviewed Publications

Myanmar - FSP Policy Research Briefs

AGLC - Peer Reviewed Publications

AGLC - FSP Policy Research

AGLC - FSP Policy Research Briefs


This page is dedicated to FSP’s principal investigators.
These are the various project indicators for reporting.

Indicator 1. Policy Papers: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_1
Indicator 2. Datasets: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_2
Indicator 3. Learning Forums: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_3
Indicator 4. Policy Reviewed: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_4
Indicator 5. Short-term training: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_5
Indicator 6. Institutions benefiting: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_6
Indicator 7. USAID unit benefiting: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_7
Indicator 8. Private CSO organizations assisted: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_8
Indicator 9. Public private consultations: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_9
Indicator 10. Engagement event with ministry: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_10
Indicator 11. Engagement event with parliament: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_11
Indicator 12. Policy revised: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_12
Indicator 13. Policy under approval: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_13
Indicator 14. Policy approved: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_14
Indicator 15. Policy implemented: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_15
Indicator 16. Policy influenced: https://form.jotform.com/fspmsu/FSP_Indicator_16


These Backgrounders go with the policy advocacy roundtable series. These meetings facilitated an open, evidence-based dialogue engaging public and private stakeholders from the coffee sector.

Backgrounder 1: Policy Advocacy Roundtable on Farmer’s Access to Premiums

Backgrounder 2: Policy Advocacy Roundtable on Increasing the Proportion of Fully Washed Coffee

Backgrounder 3: Policy Advocacy Roundtable on Farmer Investments in Coffee

Backgrounder 4: How might we explore improvements to input delivery and antestia bug / Potato Taste Defect control?

Backgrounder 5: How might we improve access to pre-financing for cooperatives and coffee washing stations?

Backgrounder 6: How might we promote long-term sustainability in Rwanda’s coffee sector?

Backgrounder 7: How might we understand the effectiveness of Rwanda’s zoning policy in year 1?

Backgrounder 8: How might we explore improvements to input delivery and antestia bug / Potato Taste Defect control?

Backgrounder 9: What are the differences between male and female heads of household who produce coffee in Rwanda?

Backgrounder 10: How might we create systems that reward farmers for producing high quality coffee?

IAPRI Reports

Examples of Policy Research Support from IAPRI

Impacts of Climate Change on Water Availability in Zambia: Implications for Irrigation Development
Byman H. Hamududu and Hambulo Ngoma, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), Technical Paper 7, February 2018
Water resources are important for current and future socioeconomic development of any country. To manage water resources sustainably requires a good understanding of the current and future availability of these resources at local level: how much water is available, where is it available and when? This paper assesses the spatial and temporal distribution of water resources and the impacts of projected climate change on water resource availability, and draws implications for irrigation development in Zambia. Unlike past studies done at national level, this study is at river basin level. Using a water balance model in a hydrological modeling framework and statistical downscaling of future climate scenarios from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the paper simulates the impacts of climate change on water availability in Zambia’s main river basins from current periods until the end of the century in 2100.

The Value of Non-timber Forest Products in Zambia: Indirect and Non-Use Benefits
Hambulo Ngoma, Paul Samboko, Chewe Nkonde, and Davison Gumbo, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper 131, December 2017.
The potential of a sustainable forest resource base to contribute to improved livelihoods is central in the development discourse. In sub-Saharan Africa and Zambia in particular, the missing piece in this narrative has been the availability of reliable data estimates of the extent to which forests contribute to key economic indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP). In this paper, we augment recent empirical strides that have been made in Zambia to estimate direct use values of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) by estimating the indirect and non-use values of these products.

Irrigation Development for Climate Resilience in Zambia: The Known Knowns and Known Unknowns
Hambulo Ngoma, Byman Hamududu, Peter Hangoma, Paul Samboko, Munguzwe Hichaambwa and Chance Kabaghe, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper 130, December 2017.
Irrigation is increasingly seen as a necessary means to build resilience in smallholder rain-fed farming systems and to increase productivity to meet growing food demands in sub-Saharan Africa. Irrigation was important in the Asian Green Revolution. Abundant surface and ground water availability and the under-exploited irrigation potentials offer real prospects for expanding irrigation in several sub-Saharan African countries, Zambia inclusive. However, there are still several gaps – the known unknowns: what irrigation models work and are suitable for smallholder farmers in the context of climate change? What irrigation models are preferred and why? What are the likely impacts of climate change on water availability and what are the long-term implications for irrigation development?

Are Agricultural Subsidies Gender Sensitive? Heterogeneous Impacts of the Farmer Input Support Program in Zambia
Machina, H., Ngoma, H., Kuteya, A., Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper 122, August 2017.
Smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa face several challenges including low productivity, food insecurity and low agricultural diversification, which contribute to high poverty. To address these challenges, governments in the region have been implementing agricultural subsidy programs to raise productivity and promote household food security, among other things. The subsidy programs have been associated with some positive impacts on productivity but not so much on stimulating overall agricultural growth and poverty reduction. In some instances, subsidies have been found to crowd out demand for commercial fertilizer. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on whether subsidies can reduce the gendered productivity gaps in agriculture. This paper contributes towards filling this gap. In particular, we assess the gendered impacts of receiving FISP on productivity and assess whether these impacts are heterogeneous between female- and male-managed plots. Unlike past studies done at household level, our analysis is at the plot level and distinguishes between male- and female-managed plots.

Land Institutions in Zambia: Evolution and the Determinants of the Extent of Land Titling
Paul C. Samboko, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper 122. August 2017.
This study sought to update the facts on the geography of land institutions in Zambia and identify the correlates of the intensity of land titling. Specifically, tracking (i) the rate and extent of conversion of land rights from customary to leasehold tenure and (ii) the extent of rural land documentation through chief certificates; also, assess the impact of land titling on crop incomes.

What Drives Conservation Agriculture Adoption among Smallholder Farmers in Zambia?
Olipa Zulu-Mbata, Antony Chapoto, and Munguzwe Hichaambwa, Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Policy Brief No. 90. June 2017.
This paper investigates the determinants of Conservation Agriculture adoption in Zambia, and makes recommendations to support the adoption of such practice.

Do Crop Income Shocks Widen Disparities in Smallholder Agricultural Investments? Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia.
Yoko Kusunose, Nicole M Mason, and Solomon Tembo. Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper No. 116. December 2016.
We investigate whether the effects of negative crop income shocks in one season persist in subsequent seasons due to reductions in crop inputs. If bad seasons cause household cash constraints to bind, and this results in the scaling back of the next season’s production, the next season’s crop income is also compromised, potentially creating a poverty trap. Troublingly, households most susceptible to such a poverty trap mechanism are likely to be those that rely the most on own-farm production and have the fewest sources of liquidity—in other words, the poorest.

Value Chain Analysis of Goats in Zambia: Challenges and Opportunities of Linking Smallholders to Markets.
Thelma Namonje-Kapembwa, Harrison Chiwawa, and Nicholas Sitko. Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) Working Paper No. 117. December 2016.
Zambia’s livestock sector plays a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of both the rural and urban population. Smallholder farmers, for the most part, dominate the sector, and at the household level, its role goes beyond the provision of food and nutrition in people’s diets, to act as a risk buffer by providing an alternative source of income in case of crop failure.

indicator submissions

Please use the links below to report your activity.

Indicator 1. Policy Papers - this information was already collected when you submitted your publications for web site posting.
Indicator 2. Datasets
Indicator 3. Learning Forums - this information was collected with each event slides submitted for web site posting. If you did not submit any slides, then please use this form to report your activity.
Indicator 4. Policy Reviewed
Indicator 5. Short-term training
Indicator 6. Institutions benefiting
Indicator 7. USAID unit benefiting
Indicator 8. Private CSO organizations assisted
Indicator 9. Public private consultations
Indicator 10. Engagement event with ministry
Indicator 11. Engagement event with parliament
Indicator 12. Policy revised
Indicator 13. Policy under approval
Indicator 14. Policy approved
Indicator 15. Policy implemented
Indicator 16. Policy influenced

Thank you!

Presentation submissions

Project Reports


Mid-term: Progress Versus Promises Presentation

Annual Reports (FSP core)

Year 1, July 2013–Sept. 2014
Year 2, Oct 2014–Sept. 2015
Year 3, Oct 2015–Sept. 2016

Semi-annual Reports (FSP core)

July 2013–March 2014
Oct. 2014–March 2015
Oct. 2015–March 2016
Oct. 2016–March 2017

Work Plans (FSP core)

Year 1, Nov 2013–Dec 2014
Year 2, Oct 2014–Dec 2015
Year 3, Oct 2015–Dec 2016
Year 4, Oct 2016–Sept 2017

Photo: Coffee farmer reading her cherry delivery tally (Photo: Ruth Ann Church)

Projet (FR)

Les activités de FSP pour la Région de l’Afrique de l’Ouest sont centrées autour de deux points d’intérêt particulier pour la Communauté Economique Des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO)[1] et USAID.

1. Apporter un appui au Secteur Agricole de la CEDEAO, par IFPRI et MSU.

En appui aux activités du Secteur Commun Agricole de la CEDEAO, MSU a preparé trois documents de synthèse sur l’évaluation de la situation régionale sur les regulations concernant les intrants, les semences et les pesticides. IFPRI est aussi en train de conduire des consultations régionales pour appuyer les évaluations du Secteur Commun au Cap Vert, en Guinée, Sierra Leone, Niger, et Libéria, et travaille à la validation de l’Atlas Electronique (eAtlas) en Côte d’Ivoire, Niger, Nigéria, Sénégal et Togo.

2. Mise en place régionale inégale des régulations sur l’emploi des pesticides.

En réponse aux préoccupations exprimées par le Commissaire pour l’Agriculture de la CEDEAO, Monsieur Marc Atouga, à l’USAID/Afrique de l’Ouest concernant les differences entre pays dans la mise en place de régulations regionales sur l’emploi de pesticides, MSU, avec des partenaires locaux de la Région, conduit une série d’études de cas sur ce sujet. Les premiers résultats viennent de l’étude sur le Mali. 

Dès 1992, le Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse dans le Sahel (CILSS) a mis en place des régulations régionales sur l’emploi des pesticides parmi ses neufs pays membres originels. Ces premiers efforts ont inspiré, motivé et servi de modèle pour étendre la mise en place de regulations sur l’emploi des pesticides aux zones costales humides de la CEDEAO.

Des enquêtes de terrain visant à identifier les facteurs clés qui favorisent et contraignent la mise en place nationale de régulations régionales, sont en cours en Gambie, au Sénégal, Mali, Guinée, Ghana et Nigéria. En plus de ces études de cas dans ces pays, l’équipe produit des brèves de synthèse qui mettent en avant les conclusions de ces recherches et font des recommandations pratiques pour des mises en place plus rapides et plus efficaces de régulations régionales sur les intrants, par les pays membres de la CEDEAO.


[1] La CEDEAO comprend 15 pays membres de la Région Ouest Africaine: Bénin, Burkina Faso, Cap Vert, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambie, Ghana, Guinée, Guinée Bissau, Libéria, Mali, Niger, Nigéria, Sénégal, Sierra Leoné et Togo. Ces pays ont des liens à la fois culturels et géopolitiques et partagent des intérêts économiques.

Publication submissions

Featured Stories








State Policy Notes




Featured Stories

Featured Stories






Steven Haggblade and Suresh Babu. March 2017. A User’s Guide to the Kaleidoscope Model: Practical Tools for Understanding Policy Change. Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 46. East Lansing: Michigan State University

This document provides a practical guide for stakeholders interested in applying the Kaleidoscope Model in specific developing country policy settings. It serves as companion document to the detailed description of the structure and development of the Kaleidoscope Model as well as its theoretical and empirical underpinnings, provided by Resnick et al. (2015 and 2017).


The Kaleidoscope Model of Policy Change
Suresh Babu and Danielle Resnick, IFPRI

1) Background  and the need to study the policy and policy process
2) Introduction to the policy process literature
3) The kaleidoscope Model
4) Five stages and 16 Hypotheses
5) Conclusions

Drivers of Policy Change: The Kaleidoscope Model
Steven Haggblade (MSU), Suresh Babu (IFPRI), Danielle Resnick (IFPRI), Sheryl Hendriks (University of Pretoria) and David Mather (MSU), May 13, 2015

1) Overview of the Kaleidoscope model
2) Case Study Application – Zambia micronutrient policy

Drivers of Policy Change: The Kaleidoscope Model
May 13, 2015
USAID Agriculture Officers’ Training
Zambia micronutrient case study materials



Featured Stories




Featured Stories



Featured Stories



Featured Stories



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''Malawi Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development (MoAIWD) is leading many of the high-level policy reforms that the government of Malawi committed to in 2013 under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in Malawi. The New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support: Malawi project (NAPAS: Malawi) enables staff from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy project (FSP) at Michigan State University to provide policy advisory support to MoAIWD to better enable the government of Malawi achieve these policy reforms.

FSP is an applied global agriculture and food security policy research project funded by the Bureau of Food Security of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Michigan State University, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the University of Pretoria, and AMG Global. Using additional financial resources provided by USAID/Malawi through the NAPAS: Malawi project, two FSP staff members – a Senior Policy Advisor and a Policy Analyst – have been placed within MoAIWD in its Department of Agricultural Planning Services (DAPS) to work for three years, starting from November 2014 to November 2017.

The twin objectives of the NAPAS: Malawi project are to improve the agriculture investment climate in Malawi and to enable increased commercialization of Malawi’s agricultural sector.

In order to enable substantial progress to be made towards these objectives, the project has three technical components:

    1. Provide technical support for policy formulation;
    2. Engage in communication activities to inform debate on agriculture and food security policy issues; and
    3. Address gaps in analytical expertise constraining agricultural policy reform

1. Policy Formulation
NAPAS: Malawi staff supports MoAIWD to address those New Alliance policy reform commitments for which the Ministry is responsible that primarily involve policy definition and strategy development. Many of these are efforts to increase levels of private sector investment and agricultural commercialization. The advisors participate in the Ministry’s efforts to advance policy processes to achieve these commitments, both at an intellectual level, by contributing insights from theory and models from elsewhere, and at a practical level, by participating in the drafting of policy, strategy, and position papers and by attending meetings across sectors and with all stakeholders to build consensus on the policy changes required and the action needed.

2. Policy Communication
Project staff work with several institutions involved in agricultural policy processes in Malawi to increase the number of informed actors engaged in policy deliberations through targeted policy communication efforts. NAPAS: Malawi mostly supported other stakeholders to lead conferences and workshops but in the past year has led several conferences/workshops including the Malawi National Land Symposium and the Agriculture Policy and Institutional Strengthening workshop, and has produced several policy reports and briefs.

3. Capacity Strengthening
The NAPAS:Malawi staff strengthens the analytical capacity of policy analysts within DAPS and other agricultural policy research institutions in Malawi. Insufficient policy analysis expertise can significantly hamper the realization of New Alliance policy reform commitments due to an absence of objective evidence on the best policy direction to take, lowering the quality of discussion in agricultural policy reform processes. Where additional evidence will strengthen political will or promote buy-in from stakeholders, NAPAS: Malawi advisors will carry out targeted policy analysis jointly with relevant individuals within DAPS and with Malawian academic institutions and civil society organizations in the sector. These joint efforts will be done to build their skills in policy analysis and to effectively communicate the analytical results for application. When appropriate, short-term training courses are held, particularly on analytical methods, bugheting, and on dimensions of effective policy communication.

Download Malawi Project Brochure


Videos & Audios

Project (EN)

FSP activities under this project focus on two key areas of interest to ECOWAS [1] and USAID:

1. Support for ECOWAS Joint Sector Review (JSR) process, by IFPRI and MSU
In support of the ECOWAS JSR process, MSU has prepared a series of three overview documents assessing the current state of regional fertilizer, seed and pesticide policies, while IFPRI is currently conducting a series of regional consultations to support JSR assessments in Cape Verde, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Niger and Liberia and Electronic Atlas (eAtlas) validation for Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

2. Uneven implementation of regional pesticide policies
In response to concerns expressed by ECOWAS Agricultural Commissioner Marc Atouga, to USAID/WA, about uneven rates of country implementation of regional policies, MSU and local partners in the region are currently conducting a series of case studies of uneven implementation of regional pesticide policies. First results from Mali are available here.

As early as 1992, Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) introduced regional pesticide regulations among its 9 original member countries. These early efforts have served as inspiration, motivation and as a model for the expanding regional pesticide regulations to the humid coastal countries of the ECOWAS region. Ongoing pesticide field studies in Gambia, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria aim identify key factors favoring and constraining national implementation of regional policies. In addition to the country case studies, the team will produce a synthesis brief outlining the key conclusions and practical recommendations for faster and more effective country implementation of ECOWAS regional input policies.


[1] The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is made up of fifteen member countries that are located in the Western African region: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. These countries have both cultural and geopolitical ties and shared common economic interest.

Projet (FR)

''L’agriculture, qui est un secteur économique stratégique du Mali, est à la base de la stratégie nationale pour la sécurité alimentaire et la réduction de la pauvreté. La promotion de politiques qui augmentent la production agricole, améliorent la qualité nutritionnelle et la résilience des moyens de subsistance est au coeur de ce projet. Ce programme vise particulièrement à identifier et à répondre aux lacunes dans l’analyse des priorités politiques, tout en développant, à long terme, les ressources locales pour la recherche sur les politiques alimentaires et agricoles. Le projet promeut les collaborations de recherche avec des partenaires locaux.

Les domaines politiques prioritaires sont : les intrants agricoles, les investissements agricoles et agro-industriels, la terre et les ressources naturelles, le commerce agricole, le genre et les jeunes (thèmes transversaux).

Afin de développer la capacité locale en matière de recherche sur les politiques, les professeurs et le personnel de MSU sont impliqués dans des activités de recherche collaborative et de formation de courte durée avec des collègues et des étudiants de plusieurs institutions maliennes. Les activités de recherche collaborative incluent des enquêtes auprès des fermiers, des commerçants et des décideurs politiques. Les résultats empiriques qui affectent les décisions politiques sur des points clés de la sécurité alimentaire et de l’agriculture sont disséminés à travers des ateliers de travail, des présentations professionnelles, des séances villageoises, ainsi que dans les medias.

Carte montrant les régions où FSP travaille au Mali
Photo: Participants à une restitution de travaux sur l’intensification agricole auprès de villageois (credit: Naman Keita)

Examples & outputs

of activities and topics covered under C1 and C2

''West Africa:

Mechanization of Agriculture in Malawi


Eastern and Southern Africa:

  • Research and analytical support to Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia
  • Capacity building in Partial Equilibrium modeling and crop outlook forecasting—Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi
  • Institutional architecture assessment to focus on policy gaps
  • The economics and political economy of local government authority (LGA) levies in Tanzania
  • Journalists training on food, agriculture, and nutrition policy issues in Malawi and South Africa (see also a report on IFPRI’s website)
  • Training and capacity building of national statistical agency
  • Support to the Malawi Department of Land Resources and Conservation in developing crop suitability maps
  • Stakeholder assessment of the agriculture and food security policy processes in Malawi
  • Capacity building support to IAPRI, Zambia (see an example of an IAPRI publication reflecting this support, and the capacity building workshop on using economic household models - Part 1 and Part 2)


 Photo: Motorized plough in Malawi




Examples & outputs

of activities and topics covered under C4a

''Fertilizer Policy
FSP/C4a team has finished a major study on input subsidy programs and the need for a more holistic farm productivity growth strategy that focuses on the need for soil fertility improvements, sustainable land management, and bi-directional extension learning programs to enable farmers to use fertilizer more efficiently and profitably. Based on this new study, the team has undertaken a number of policy engagement activities in Africa with national governments (e.g., Kenya, Malawi, Zambia) and at regional fora such as the AGRF which assembled over 1,000 African policymakers, government representatives and members of development organizations.

Holistic Sustainable Intensification Strategy for Smallholder Farmers in Increasingly Densely Populated Areas of Africa
FSP has finished a study on strategies for promoting sustainable agricultural intensification and productivity growth. Based on this new study, we have undertaken a number of policy engagement activities in 2016 in Africa, internationally, and at regional fora such as the AGRF.

Land Dynamics and Land Policy 
FSP/C4a team has developed a strong global analytical base for formulating land allocation and land tenure policies in Africa. Research and policy engagement in this area has:

    • Conducted multi-country studies on the relationship between farm scale and farm productivity involving a strong team of local and international researchers in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, and Zambia.
    • Conducted numerous policy engagement and outreach activities in Africa, with national governments, policy conferences, government retreats, and seminars.
    • Formalized partnership with the African Union-Land Policy Institute to work collaboratively on monitoring and evaluation of land governance policies in selected African countries and areas of capacity building following the NELGA initiative.
    • Generated empirical evidences from several African countries that show:
      • the rise of medium-scale farms, the causes and consequences of this development, and policy options that African governments may want to consider (see for example, the study by Jayne et al. and featured story.)
      • the status quo (in terms of the customary tenure arrangements) is no longer an option as social, economic and climatic transformations/dynamics erode the tenure security the traditional system used to guarantee. Differential analysis shows that the adverse tenure security effect of such transformations/dynamics is critical to female, migrant and younger member of a community. (See the study on customary tenure in Mozambique).
    • Created awareness about the new reforms, regulations, process and procedures concerning land governance that dictate tenure security and the consequential intra-household power relations and welfare outcomes of interventions and initiatives to protect land governance (see the example of the study in Ghana and Ethiopia). New programs in Mozambique, Nigeria and Ethiopia now consider public sensitization as integral part of their land administration interventions

Mechanization in Agricultural Transformation: SouthSouth Learning and Knowledge Exchange:
This activity is designed to offer African stakeholders and the governments the insights about the economic conditions for promoting growths in the demand for mechanization, and how proper regulations and policies may help such growth, and the role of the private sector to meet such demand. To this effects, study tours have been conducted for African government officials from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and Ethiopia to visit Bangladesh and learn from its experience as part of the South-South knowledge exchange (see Policy Research Briefs 11 and 12) summarizing the perspectives and observations by African visitors.

Exploring the Relationships between Agricultural Transformation and Youth Employment in Africa’s Economic Transformation. Research undertaken under this topic is designed to create a better understanding of how Africa’s economies and employment patterns are changing, and to meet the demand for better evidence base to project future trends and develop policy options. Several major publications in Foreign Affairs, The Conversation, AgYEES Youth Report, the 2016 AGRA Status Report, and Agricultural Economics highlight why it is critically important for African governments to make agriculture more attractive to Africa’s rural youth. Possible strategies for African governments and development agencies are proposed to achieve this objective.

Photo: Agriculture intensification in Africa (credit: Thomas Jayne)

Key messages

  • ''Agricultural productivity growth is at the heart of Africa’s economic transformation, and investing in Africa’s economic growth is in the United States’ national interest.
  • Even with strong agricultural productivity growth, sub-Saharan Africa will be increasingly dependent on world markets for staple grains and oilseeds due to rapid population growth.  Income growth will further increase Africa’s reliance on world markets for commodities such as wheat, rice and soybeans.
  • Young people between 15 and 34 years of age account for roughly 60% of Africa’s labor force. The agri-food system is a major source of employment for this young population.
  • Exploiting win-win opportunities for the US and Africa will require sustainable building of African public and private sector organizations that support African farmers:  universities, training colleges, vocational schools, national research and extensions systems, and policy analysis units.
  • US assistance should emphasize long-term capacity building support to these African institutions. US development assistance can most effectively build African capacity and support economic development in Africa by shifting their role from providing the technologies, services, and answers themselves to helping African institutions to do so.


Examples & outputs of activities and topics covered under C4b

While continental trends are clear, there exists an extremely weak knowledge-base at country-level on who (local firms, regional firms, multi-nationals) is producing what products, where (in urban areas, peri-urban, nearby rural, or distant rural), and how (with what technology and at what scale). Even less is known about how this mix of who / what / where / how has evolved in recent years, how it is likely to change in the coming five to ten years, and what this implies about needed public policy and investment. These information gaps make it difficult to determine what steps government and development agencies need to take to ensure robust and equitable growth in this sector that serves the needs of consumers for a safe, nutritious, and high quality food supply while assisting local entrepreneurs to respond vigorously and competitively to these opportunities.

Work described below is designed to begin filling these gaps in five countries of Africa: Senegal, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The work features a combination (with different relative emphases depending on the country), of processed food mapping at retail, and selection of one value chain that features substantial processing for more in-depth study.

Value chain analysis:
The FSP C 4b team has undertaken grain processing value chain studies in Tanzania and Mozambique, millet and sorghum value chain analysis in Senegal, teff value chain analysis in Ethiopia, and poultry sub-sector study and FSP Research Paper 22 in Nigeria. The analyses are based on conducting surveys of key players along the value chain, such as processors and retailers.  

Building inventories of processed foods:
Such inventories have been developed for major cities in Tanzania and Nigeria.
“Stages of Transformation in Food Processing and Marketing: Results of an Initial Inventory of Processed Food Products in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Mwanza.” Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 8

Analysis of secondary data, to examine the trends in food production, trade and consumption patterns.
“Gendering Malawi’s National Nutrition Policy using the integrated framework for gender analysis in nutrition policy.” Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Brief 18.

Policy engagement and outreach:
The team actively participates in various national, regional and global events to disseminate the insights gained from this stream of research to policy makers, donors, private sector partners, CSOs and other stakeholders. Such engagements are focused on sharing policy implications of changes occurring at midstream and downstream and how the agrifood system fits into the broader industrialization strategies of many countries.
FSP PowerPoint Presentations

Key messages

  1. A diet transformation on the demand side, towards non-cereal foods, fresh foods (both animal and vegetable/fruit) processed foods, and food away from home, all increasingly sourced (even in rural areas) through markets. 
  2. A quiet revolution on the supply side in the wholesaling, processing, and logistical operations between farming and retailing.  
  3. The primacy of domestic food value chains – in most countries, food import bills amount to only about 10% of total food consumption. While imports are higher in urban areas (about 20%), in most urban areas of Africa their share does not rise with incomes.  
  4. The primacy of urban demand, especially in secondary and tertiary cities. Most food is flowing in rural-urban supply chains to urban areas that now are the majority of food markets.
  5. But there is also a reverse flow of processed foods from urban- to rural areas: About half of food consumption in rural areas is now sourced through markets.  
  6. These findings have major implications for employment: The specific implications, however, depend critically on the size distribution of the firms that capture growing demand. Policies that help micro firms grow in size, and that favor competitive response by small and medium-size firms, can generate substantial employment within the hidden middle. On the other hand, policies that favor consolidation into fewer, larger firms will result in less employment growth from this quiet revolution. Because women play major roles in most food processing and food away from home, pro-employment policies in this area will favor gender equity. 

See featured story: Surprising facts about Africa’s rapidly expanding middle class” by David Tschirley

Photo: Bamako, Mali, street scene

C4b. Downstream Global Research Policy

''Engagement in Global Research-Policy Debates

C4 work addresses the entire agrifood system, including “upstream” policy issues that affect on-farm production and practices (C4a), and “downstream” policy issues that affect players along the value chain, from the farmgate to the plate (C4b).

C4b: Agrifood System Transformation in the Downstream and Implications for Linkages to the Upstream

Research and engagement work under this component is focused on documenting the rapid changes underway in agrifood systems, and helping policy-makers design programs and policies that promote rapid but equitable growth in the systems. Key drivers of this transformation are rapid growth in per capita incomes and urbanization. These drivers result in the rapid rise in demand for food through markets as opposed to own production, and the rising demand for processed and perishable foods as opposed to grains and staple root crops.

The combination of these forces is creating enormous agribusiness opportunities for local entrepreneurs, which promise to make important contributions to continued growth and to employment. Thus, a special focus of work in this sub-component is on the challenges to promoting the ability of small- and medium-size food processing firms to compete in local and regional markets. This competitiveness will depend on the overall enabling environment within which these firms operate. Thus policies and programs that promote such enabling environment in the “downstream” are immensely important in promoting the agrifood system transformation.