FAO in Malawi

The FAO representation was established in 1986 with a staff composed of five members including the FAOR. The Representation is divided into two main units, Programme and Administration. The Rrepresentation office is in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) leads international efforts to defeat hunger and supports Malawi in transition to improve agriculture, forestry and fisheries practices and ensure good nutrition for all.  In Malawi, the agricultural sector employs 80% of the population, accounts for 39% of national GDP, supplies 80% of foreign exchange earnings and contributes significantly to national and household food security. Malnutrition remains a widespread problem, with 48% of children under the age of five years being stunted, 22% severely malnourished and 5% wasted. Natural resource depletion is occurring rapidly in Malawi, with dwindling fish stocks and an annual deforestation rate of 2.8%.

FAO’s technical support to the Government of Malawi and other stakeholders includes:

Knowledge Centre
FAO supports various cutting-edge research studies, as well as the government’s efforts to improve information and knowledge management. An example is FAO’s current technical assistance to the National Statistics Office to improve access to nationally owned, quality statistics on food security and agriculture.  Additionally, FAO is supporting various studies on bio security risks related to mobility, changing demographic patterns and rural poverty, post-harvest losses, etc.

Policy Expertise
FAO lends its years of experience to member countries in devising agricultural and natural resource policy, supporting planning, drafting effective legislation and creating national strategies to achieve sustainable rural development and hunger alleviation goals.

Catalytic projects:
Our breadth of knowledge is put to the test through a number of national and district projects throughout the country. A few of these include:
Sustainable, Livelihoods, Nutrition and Telefood projects.

Emergency and Rehabilitation Interventions
When emergency situations occur, such as droughts, floods and disease outbreaks, we work side-by-side the Government of Malawi, sister UN agencies, civil society organisations and other stakeholders to protect rural livelihoods and help people rebuild their lives. We are currently involved in the following areas: supporting farmers to adapt to climate change through conservation agriculture and controlling/preventing animal and plant pests and diseases.

Sector policy formulation: In Malawi, FAO recently provided extensive support to the Government of Malawi in the formulation and development of the Agriculture Sector-Wide Approach (A-SWAp), and FAO will continue to support the government in the implementation of the A-SWAP. FAO is also providing technical advice on Nutrition and Food Security at policy and programme level.

Legislation: FAO contributes its expertise to legislative processes relevant to promoting and sustaining rural livelihoods, such as land tenure, water, property and inheritance, natural resource protection, etc.

Mainstreaming crosscutting issues: FAO has and will continue supporting the Government of Malawi to mainstream gender, HIV and AIDS in the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors.

Facilitation of South-South cooperation: FAO firmly believes in the benefits of South-South cooperation, whereby developing countries benefit from the experience and expertise of other developing countries.