Structural adjustment, agricultural development and the poor: lessons from the Malawian experience

This report examines the complex problems faced by an economically well managed but small, poor and landlocked country in trying to achieve equitable growth while coping with great external shocks. Malawi ' s problems of adjustment have been made difficult by dualism within dualism - a structure whereby the country ' s agriculture sector is sharply divided by legal restrictions into estates and smallholders, and smallholders are de facto divided on the basis of holding size into a small minority producing a marketable surplus and capable of taking risks and, a preponderant majority experiencing stagnation or near economic paralysis. The report also analyzes the effect on the smallholder sector of structural adjustment measures most immediately relevant to agricultural and rural development : producer pricing adjustments, fertilizer policies, grain marketing liberalization, and withdrawal of donor support from the National Rural Development Program. It then discusses policies addressing the country ' s dualism, licensing, pricing, land and taxation - which the government would need to adopt in support of equitable growth.


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Lele, Uma. 1989. Structural adjustment, agricultural development and the poor : lessons from the Malawian experience. Managing Agricultural Development in Africa (MADIA) discussion paper ; no. 9. Washington, D.C. : The World Bank.