Grant for food security and food situation in Malawi 2007

Duration: 2007-2015

Budget: 4.100.000

Flanders works together with the Government of Malawi and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) around an integrated programme for the promotion of food and nutrition security.

Duration and budget

After the start in 2007, an interim evaluation was carried out in April 2010. This evaluation was overall positive. As a result, the second phase could start in August. For this second phase the Government of Flanders earmarked an amount of 4.1 million euros. The programme still runs until 2015.

Practical implementation

The programme is characterised by:

an integrated approach, which means that cooperation takes place both at the level of implementation and the policy level, paying special attention to problems such as access to water and sanitation facilities
the focus on smallholder farmers
the emphasis on capacity building
the focus on two northern districts, namely Kasungu and Mzimba

Phase 1

The first part of the programme, which lasted until 2011, contained an implementation component and a policy component. In terms of implementation, the level of food security in the districts of Kasungu and Mzimba had to improve. In terms of policy, investments were made in policy expertise.

Improvement of food security in Kasungu and Mzimba:

Malawi is a country with a maize monoculture. This limited culture causes great malnutrition in Malawi, especially among children. Micro-projects were set up which placed central focus on the diversification of crops. In this way, smallholder farmers are made less dependent on subsistence agriculture and a more varied diet is introduced among local households. Other projects, such as the installation of sanitation or the teaching of nutrition classes, also qualified for a micro-project. These micro-projects are also intended to improve the general food situation.

More expertise for a better government policy:

For this component, Flanders invested in the provision of customised policy expertise in nutrition and food security over a three-year period. Despite numerous policy plans, the food situation in Malawi has not improved. Especially the coordination of the different initiatives leaves much to be desired. For this reason, Flanders financed a policy adviser at the highest level for three years at the request of the Malawi Government. This expert worked at the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS which falls under the direct responsibility of the President. The expert consulted with the donors and brought them into contact with the government. She coordinated all the food initiatives and made sure that food security and nutrition were prioritised in all the new agricultural programmes.

Phase 2

The second phase works on the same components as the first one, but has chosen a new focus. On the one hand, more attention will be devoted to training and a change in behaviour in terms of production and nutrition. On the other hand, greater emphasis will also be placed on nutrition and the link with policy. Finally, the programme will be extended geographically so as to cover more areas and districts.