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Soil fertility in Malawi. A review of policies, productivity and perceptions

Soil fertility in Malawi. A review of policies, productivity and perceptions

Coote, Claire, Giller, Ken, Sutherland, Alastair, Mughogho, Spider, Benson, Todd, Oudwater, Nicoleine and Coulter, John (1998) Soil fertility in Malawi. A review of policies, productivity and perceptions. Discussion Paper. Natural Resources Institute, Chatham, UK.

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Abstract

This report synthesises information from the literature and key informants on agricultural production and soil fertility in Malawi and proposes options for investment in this area. The main points, highlighted below, were presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation's Soil Fertility Round Table in Lilongwe in June 1998.

Malawi's situation is far from secure with its high population density and growth rate, land shortages, malnutrition, decreasing life expectancy and deteriorating infrastructure. The country has recently experienced some extreme shocks and changes - repeated droughts, democratisation, devaluation and liberalisation. These have impacted on the agricultural sector both positively and negatively. On the positive side, there is increasing crop diversification and production at national level. Negatively, increases in the price of fertiliser and declining access to credit have adversely affected many smallholders, particularly in the south. The population is increasing at a steady rate and maize production, while varying with rainfall, appears not to be increasing at the same rate. The situation at household level in many areas is worsening. The soils, on which the country is so dependent, are no longer able to provide sufficient nitrogen to achieve acceptable yields of maize.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: soil fertility, Malawi, agricultural production, development, agriculture, food security, investment
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2016 11:55
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/11509

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