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The Perception of Cassava in Malawi: A Literature Study About a Root Crop’s Implication on Food Security in the Past and the Present
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Climate change and weather phenomena like the El Niño-La Niña Southern Oscillation aremaking agriculture increasingly vulnerable in the Global South. In Malawi, where morethan 90% of the agriculture is rain-fed, food insecurity is becoming an annual problem. Inthe past, governmental policies have focused on improving maize production, which has ledinto mono-culture and a dependency on this crop resulting in acceleration of food insecurity.To fight hunger, non-governmental organisations and international donors are now focusingon promoting cassava due to its low-input requirements and drought resistance. Althoughcassava is marketed as somewhat of ’a new discovery’ in Malawi, the root crop has beencultivated in the country for nearly as long as maize. This thesis explores the historicalecology of cassava in Malawi and its involvement in historical food crises, where it wasused as a famine crop. Nowadays, cassava is mostly promoted as a cash crop but variousconstraints are still in the way of cassava production and processing which will be examinedin this thesis. Furthermore, the thesis explores the eects of agricultural policies on cassavaand the ways in which non-governmental organisations are promoting cassava. It will alsobe shown that the perception of cassava is not unison in Malawi and that the promotionof cassava should be adapted to the specific local situations. Additionally, based on thehistorical and current experience of cassava cultivation in Malawi, the possible eectsof an increased cassava cultivation and processing on food security will be discussed, inparticular based on the three dimensions of food security: food availability, food access andfood use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 77
Keywords [en]
Cassava, Malawi, Food security, Food crop, Cash crop, Maize dependency
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-401859OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-401859DiVA, id: diva2:1384180
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-01-09 Created: 2020-01-09 Last updated: 2020-01-09Bibliographically approved

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