When media reports meet data: Developments in the cotton sub-sector in Malawi

A lot has happened since my co-author and I published results of a study on performance of cotton farming in Malawi we conducted in 2014. For example, the Nation newspaper reported that cotton farming was in a “free fall” in 2016. Zodiak Broadcasting Station said cotton farming was at its lowest in 2017 whereas CISANET complained about uncertainty in the cotton subsector in Malawi. As if that is not enough, ginners reportedly “threatened” to stop providing inputs to cotton farmers as the ginners  lamented about not gaining from their investment in the crop. It has further been reported that farmers only managed to produce 13 000 metric tonnes against a national demand of 250 000 tonnes in 2017. Continue reading “When media reports meet data: Developments in the cotton sub-sector in Malawi”

Back from hibernation: Reactivating the blog

As you might have noted, this blog has been quite inactive for a better chuck of the past year. I took some time to upgrade my understanding of agricultural and applied economics through graduate studies at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR). I expect to finish the program in September of 2017. The coursework demanded a lot of my time such that I could not find time to commit to updating the blog. However, now that I have almost finished the most demanding part of the program, I have time to update this blog regularly. Continue reading “Back from hibernation: Reactivating the blog”

“Dryness due to El Niño may prolong lean season and deteriorate food security outcomes”-FEWSNET

Credit: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/05/22/el-nino-forecast-noaa
Credit: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/05/22/el-nino-forecast-noaa

Continuing with our series on El Nino and Agriculture, FEWSNET has just released the following report which discusses the issue and its impact in Mozambique.

Here are key messages from the report; Continue reading ““Dryness due to El Niño may prolong lean season and deteriorate food security outcomes”-FEWSNET”

Agricultural impacts of El Nino in Sub Saharan Africa

Credit: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/05/22/el-nino-forecast-noaa
Credit: http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/05/22/el-nino-forecast-noaa

I would have loved to write a good analysis of how El Nino will affect the global agricultural system. Luckily (for me), such analyses has already been conducted. What is remaining is for countries, especially those that are going to be directly affected, to work out plans on how they will respond to this calamity.

In my country Malawi, for example, I do no see any serious deliberate actions from the government, households as well the firms in preparations for effects of El Nino despite early warnings of severe famine from the same. I pray that other countries have plans on how they will deal with these climatic event. Continue reading “Agricultural impacts of El Nino in Sub Saharan Africa”

The Economics of Agricultural Information for Smallholder Farmers

I would like to share with you all this blog post on Economics of Agricultural information for Smallholder Farmers that was published by GFAR . I strongly believe that most agriculturalists and development practitioners will find this material very useful



The public sector has a crucial role in generating and making available agriculture-related information to smallholder farmers, argues Ajit Maru, GFAR’s Senior Knowledge Officer, but more research is needed on how this information is used and managed as these farmers transition to more market-oriented production.

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