Category Archives: Malawi

Study: Malawi’s fertilizer subsidy not ‘miraculous’

messina
Joe Messina

By David Poulson

When geographer Joe Messina first analyzed satellite images of Malawi farm fields, he figured he had made a mistake.

Almost everywhere he looked in the East African nation he found maize harvest declines over the previous decade.  But this was the site of the Malawi Miracle, a fertilizer subsidy program so successful that it was lauded by researchers in scientific journals and by writers in the New York Times and The Economist.

It became a model program used to justify similar enormous investments by the international community in other African nations.

“I assumed I was wrong,” said Messina, a researcher at Michigan State University’s Global Center for Food Systems Innovation.

Continue reading Study: Malawi’s fertilizer subsidy not ‘miraculous’

Innovation program helps vendors interact with government

Winston J. Gondwe
Emily Hale and Winston J. Gondwe.

By Emily Hale

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

For a week we had walked past a man squatting in the fruit section of Area 25-A market.

It wasn’t until our last day in the market that we finally stopped and talked to Mr. Winston J. Gondwe. He provided us with his perspective on what was happening in the markets, and the challenges the market vendors are facing. Continue reading Innovation program helps vendors interact with government

Supermarket versus food market

By Malcolm Oglesby

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

While living in Malawi for two weeks to study their food markets, it was a good experience. It was amazing to firsthand observe the livelihoods of many families, and the factors that hinder them. As a consumer that purchases goods at supermarkets, I easily deciphered the differences and the similarities they share with food markets.

Continue reading Supermarket versus food market

An African-American in Africa

By Malcolm Oglesby

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

During my 21 years of living I was always directly and indirectly identified as African-American. What I mean by these terms is that although I self-identify as African-American, I wouldn’t have a choice since society would identify me as such. As the practicum got closer and closer, I wondered how the people in Malawi would view me. Continue reading An African-American in Africa

Frugal market investments come with interest

By Chad Binder

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

Applying for the Frugal Innovation Program, I knew I would be investing myself as an entity in efforts to open a space for change in the informal markets of Malawi. After spending my time with the

Malawian people, with the vendors, with the land and what it bears, now, it is apparent that I was to become more invested in more than purely the markets. Continue reading Frugal market investments come with interest