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Malawi: The 2050 Food System vision is possible. It begins with us

The 2050 Food Security Vision is possible. Technological and transformational approach with accessible practical solutions is a way to go

Photo of Gordon Malunji Yiwombe
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Salima Agriculture Development Division in Malawi

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Government

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Salima has about 3,004 square km. Much of it is water (part of Lake Malawi)

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

The ministry of Agriculture deploys its staff to districts, regions and headquarters. The Agriculture Development Division is a satelite of the ministry. I work to maintain the food, nutrition and income security mission call of the ministry. Gender dispaeities reduction is also an assignment that requires urgent actions from all stakeholders. Salima is an example produces maize, groundnuts, soybean, cassava, has goats and fishing. It is a lakeshore district.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Salima district has warm weather, a long lake Malawi. The soils enable rice, maize, soybean, cassava and groundnuts to grow very well. Fishing is almost a daily business. The district has numerous goats, and some cattle and chicken. Cotton is another cash crop grown in the area. The people find food through farming, business and fishing. It is a tourism centre and the culture is a mixture of Chewa, Yao and some minor tribes. Its a rich culture

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Salima district is affected by common issues affecting Malawi with some few unique challenges of her own. The challenges include: 1. Effects of climate change on production. Erratic rains, droughts, dry spells. Crops wilt and dry out in some areas. Water levels for irrigation and dam conservation are reduced. Most rivers dry up early. 2. Rising population. Low production vs the rising population. This has been due to dwindling land holding size per farming household. 3. Inadequate or limited processing technologies. Shelf life is improved if some commodities are processed and value added. Highly perishable crops like tomato, fish and vegetables require farmers access these technologies. 4. Poor storage facilities 5. Limited access to agriculture extension approaches 5. High input prices 6. Limited diversity in consumption. Most people stick to traditional foods. 7. Inadequate research and funding for research work 8. Overfishing 9. Limited access to soft loans 10. Deforestation 11. Increased gender disparities

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

The 2050 vision calls governments to: 1. Improve accessibility of processing technologies to improve quality and shelf life of produce. 2. Invest in modern storage facilities to minimise pest attack and bad weather impact to harvested food crops. 3. Enhance the spirit of diversification. Sticking to one or few crop, livestock type limits accessing the nutrient that the body requires. It becomes serious if the commodity planted a non tolerant crop to dry spells. Livestock also has to be diversified. Small stocks have helped many households to be food secure. 4. Irrigation production be boosted. 5. Government to invest in research for improved seed and technologies. Tolerant crops and livestock are required followed by scalling up campaigns 6. Post harvest losses management be boosted. 7. Promote progressive taste change. Traditional tastes of food have to exposed to non traditional varieties. Food demonstrations have to scaled up for wider exposure to new food crops.. 8. Construction of dams to conserve water for fishing and irrigation and livestock 9. Soft loans 10. Regenerate and conserve the forests. This will improve rainfall amounts 11. Promote the farmer field school and agripreneurship approach so that technology transfer across generations is sped up 12. Promote inclusion of women and youths in agriculture production and processing

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

1. Production levels on small farm size will double 2. High tech will help keep proceesed food for long/ inceased shelf life. 3. People will be tuned to diversified tastes of different food sources 4. Transformational views presented now will guide the future uptake of issues for sustainability of the approaches 5. 50:50 campaign in gender integration will be deep routed.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

Cultural values have a significant contribution to choices we make in food selection. Salima district has diversified culture that cuts across Yao, Chewa and other minor tribes. Its a rich culture. Its also a tourism centre.The economic stability of a country determines the purchasing power of food of her citizens. Technological exposure or limited access to it affects storage and processing of various food items. Policy guide need to meet the demands people have on food and call for diversification. The government could have a breather if soil, vegetation and water conservation efgorts are boosted. The farmer field school approach and farming as a business seem to pay off.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Email

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Gordon Malunji Yiwombe  welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!
It is lovely to see a Vision come together for food production through accessible technologies.
Since your Vision will be designed specifically for the Place and People you’ve selected, it will be very valuable to understand the needs, aspirations, motivations, and challenges of your Place and its People.
We've built a very comprehensive Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. The Toolkit will help you refine your Vision and make it systemic, human-centred and well informed.
We look forward to seeing your Vision continue to evolve.