Dan Banik: The Politics of Hunger in an SDG Era: Food Policy in Malawi
In Food Ethics, 2019.
This study focuses on the relationship between politics and hunger and the national political discourse on food security in Malawi. Our aim is to better understand the role of local and national actors in pursuing policies that aim to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The empirical focus is on the Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP), introduced by the Malawian government in 2005–2006, which supports smallholder farmers to better access to agricultural inputs. We provide an overview of the food security discourse and highlight the importance of political commitment for policy coherence that is required for achieving the SDGs. Thereafter, we introduce the policymaking scene in Malawi and FISP before critically examining the policy narratives on food security in the country. Our goal is to examine why some issues are effectively dealt with and not others. We argue that food security policies in Malawi are influenced by the political incentives they provide for electoral campaigns and for securing a regular flow of financial resources in agriculture projects that are highly dependent on foreign aid.