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These are commentaries submitted by experts in their fields to discuss salient policy issues. All are welcomed to submit short essays (fewer than 3000 words) for consideration. 

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Policy Perspectives

Any opinions or viewpoints offered in the Policy Perspectives series are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of MwAPATA, its donors or its partners.

The Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome Outbreak in Fish is a Threat to Malawi's Economy

Maggie G. Munthali - Research Fellow, The MwAPATA Institute 

July 15, 2021

Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) is an invasive, aggressive, and destructive disease that affects both farmed and wild fish in freshwater and estuarine ecosystems. The management and control of this disease stands as a primary challenge to the development of sustainable aquaculture and capture fisheries in Malawi.  A  major  outbreak  of  EUS  in Malawi was first report-

ed in mid-July 2020, and despite measures taken, the disease continues to spread. In this perspective, Dr. Munthali discusses the impacts of EUS on the Malawi’s economy if the disease is not contained.

Address Underlying Economic Problems to Enable Youth, Not Vice Versa

Louise Fox - Non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institute

April 29, 2021

Dr. Fox argues key focus areas should include increasing regional trade, investing in land reform and developing land markets so that youth can be productive working in agriculture, and expanding educational opportunities so that youth can work productively in nonfarm sectors.  Increasing opportunities for young women to go to school, stay in school, and work afterwards should get particular attention

Agricultural Transformation in Ethiopia: Policy Lessons for Malawi

Khalid Bomba - Founding Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency

February 17, 2021

Most sub-Saharan African farmers still struggle to create wealth through farming and agrifood system development. Malawi has devoted considerable effort to promote agricultural transformation initiatives, but productivity growth in agriculture has remained low and most farming households continue to be food insecure and poor.   Relying  on  experiences  from  leading

Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), this Perspective highlights several key lessons that could be useful in Malawi’s pursuit of growth and transformation.

Rethinking Agricultural Input Subsidy Programs and the Role of Agricultural Extension: Lessons for Future Programming

Daimon Kambewa - Associate Professor, Department of Extension, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources 

October 5, 2020

As governments continue to support smallholder farmers with affordable farm inputs to improve agricultural productivity, there are growing concerns about the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the programs.   In  this  perspective,  Dr. Kambewa advocates for using agricultural

extension structures in the successful design, implementation, and monitoring of agricultural input support programs, and for the use of Integrated Soil Fertility Management practices for the efficiency and sustainability of the programs.