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Harrigan, Jane (2008) 'Food Insecurity, Poverty and the Malawi Starter Pack: False Start or Fresh Start?' Food Policy, 33 (3). pp. 237-249.

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Chronic food insecurity and chronic poverty are closely related in Malawi. Since independence in 1964 national food security has been a key policy objective. However, until the 1990s less emphasis was placed on the household dimensions of food security and its links with chronic poverty. In the last decade a number of initiatives have been used in Malawi to tackle the issue of household food insecurity. One of the most controversial has been the Starter Pack programme launched in 1998. Initially consisting of a free handout of packs of improved maize seed, legumes and fertiliser to every small holder farm household in Malawi the scheme, under donor pressure, was subsequently scaled down to become a form of targeted social safety net programme. This paper analyses the strengths and weakness of both the original programme and its scaled down version and assesses the reason for the considerable opposition to the programme from Malawi’s donor community. Although Starter Pack is no longer operative in Malawi the Malawian experience is used to derive lessons for other countries where household food insecurity is an important dimension of chronic poverty. �

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Food security; Malawi; Starter pack; Poverty alleviation
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISSN: 03069192
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 21 May 2008 09:15

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