The Food Security Policy is a national instrument with a multi-sectoral approach, whose long-term goal is to significantly improve food security of the population. The goal implies increasing agricultural productivity as well as diversity and sustainable agricultural growth and development.The policy aims to help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition. It states that the specific objective of food security is to guarantee that all men, women, boys and girls, especially under-fives in Malawi have, at all times, physical and economic access to sufficient nutritious food required to lead a healthy and active life. The document recognizes the right to food: Government will be committed to ensuring that no government actions or those of private traders would reduce any Malawians access to safe nutritious food and that there is no discrimination in the buying and selling of food (see point 1.2.7). According to this policy, the concept of food security implies that all Malawians at all times have both physical and economic access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life; both the production and consumption of food are governed by social values that are just and equitable as well as moral and ethical; the ability to acquire food is ensured; the food is obtained in a manner that upholds human dignity. The following aspects are encompassed under the concept of food security: availability (Chapter 3); access (Chapter 4); stability (Chapter 5).As mentioned, the instrument seeks to make agriculture more productive and sustainable. It stipulates that the ways in which food is produced and distributed should be environmentally friendly and sustainable. Chapter 3.1.7 concerns the promotion of environmental and land management for sustainable agriculture development. It includes the following strategies: promote conservation of land and proper utilization based on applicable instruments such as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), audits and land use plans; enforce the regulation that requires tobacco estates to allocate a proportion of their land for afforestation; develop appropriate technology and extension methods aimed at improving and maintaining soil fertility; prevent water, soil and air pollution from agro-chemicals. Chapter 3.1.11 defines the strategies to be implemented in order to promote sustainable harvesting of natural food resources.The policy also aims at the reduction of rural poverty. The Government shall put in place distinctly targeted agricultural input subsidies to enhance growth and food diversification for the poor farmers that can still not afford agriculture inputs after exhausting all economic levers.Further the policy seeks to enable more inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems. It is worth noticing the inclusion of the following strategies: promote contract farming for agricultural production development; strengthen management and maintain adequate stocks of the Strategic Grain Reserves; promote irrigation development and integrated water resources management; increase access to agricultural inputs; encourage Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for crop protection as a way of safeguarding farming systems and maintaining a productive economy; promote animal power and farm mechanization; increase access to credit by female and male farmers; guarantee security in land tenure and transparency in land transfer system; ensure implementation of the land redistribution programme to relieve land pressure and encourage utilization of arable land; empower local communities to manage fisheries resources.The policy also seeks to increase the resilience of livelihoods to disasters. The objective is to guarantee that every individual has adequate and nutritious food that is accessible at the required time and in useable form. Chapter 5 defines the strategies to be implemented to improve the management of disasters: promote a coordinated approach to disaster preparedness and management; ensure allocation of adequate resources to disaster management; improve system of assessing possibilities of a shock.In the field of governance, Chapter 6 establishes that to effectively plan and implement the Food Security Policy as well as monitor and evaluate its progress a strong infrastructure within Government is required. The policy sets out the structure of the Food and Nutrition Security Joint Task Force. The following elements are taken into special account to attain a good governance: (a) political leadership and commitment; (b) Rule of Law; (c) sustained economic governance; (d) Human Rights; (e) multi-sectoral approach and partnerships; (f) gender equity and empowerment.
Implemented by: National Nutrition Policy and Strategic Plan 2007-2012. (2007)
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