Working Paper
Dealing with the 2007/08 Global Food Price Crisis

the Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Malawi

The paper examines the underlying political economy motivations of the government’s policy responses to food price increases in 2007/08 focusing particularly on maize as the main staple crop. The main government policy responses to the food price spikes in 2007/08 were price control, bans on domestic and international trade. We argue that although there has been increased openness in policy debates and dialogue relating to the question of food security since the transition to democracy in May 1994, the process continues to be unclear, dominated by presidential interventions, and tends to be highly motivated by electoral politics and considerations.