The impact of market reforms on household food security in rural Malawi
Kaluwa, Ben M.
Kandoole, Benson F.
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Malawi is a landlocked country with a land area of 94,276 sq. km and a population of 8 million in 1987. Among Sub-Saharan African countries, its population density of 59 persons/km2 which is only surpassed by Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, and Uganda. Nearly 90% of the population is rural based, relying heavily on agriculture. This sector dominates the economy, producing 37% of the GDP and accounting for 90% of the export earnings. In addition to a lack of significant mineral deposits, these factors make Malawi a poor country in which access to arable land, its utilization, and convinient seaports are critical issues for smallholder production, income, and international trade. Moreover, the small tax base which has resulted in low government revenues has seriously constrained efforts to improve either the economic or social indicators of development such as life expectancy (45 years), infant mortality (153 per 1,000 population), nutritional status, primary school enrollment rate (62%), and per capita energy consumption 43 kg of oil equivalent (World Bank, 1988).