Hunger Looms in Malawi as Experts Project Low Yields

Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has projected low farm yields following its 2014/15 second Agricultural Production Estimate survey.

According to the Ministerial survey, the results show that maize production has decreased from 3,978,123 metric tons realized in 2013/2014 agricultural season to 2,898,123 metric tons in the current agricultural season.

This represents 27.7 per cent decline in production. The results also show decreases in other major food crops such as rice (13.6 per cent, millet 11.9 per cent, cassava 1.1 per cent, and sorghum 9.3 per cent). However, potatoes and sweet potatoes have increased by 5.9 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

Minister Dr Allan Chiyembekeza attributed the decline to floods and prolonged dry spell that the country has experienced in the course of the season, but has however assured Malawians that his ministry is putting some possible mechanisms to turn away from hunger.

“The national maize requirement for the country is approximately 3 million metric tons. My Ministry has put in place several mitigation measures to avert looming hunger including promoting the growing of cassava and sweet potato Program as a response to the floods and dry spells and distributing agricultural inputs such as irrigation equipments,” said Chiyembekeza. The results for the third round of the survey which is underway will be released in June this year.



  • With an estimated population of 16.3 million people, Malawi faces several social problems including poverty, where 53% of the population lives under the poverty line
  • The landlocked country is bordered by Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania
  • MalawiisaUnitedNationsPopulationFund(UNFPA) global population hotspot with a rapidly expanding population at 3 percent per year
  • AccordingtotheMalawiVulnerabilityAssessment Committee (MVAC), an estimated 695,600 people will experience acute food insecurity during the 2014/15 lean season