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Despite repeated interventions by governments, donors and NGOs in recent years, food insecurity continues and developing countries are forced to rely on food aid again and again. The original idea of Starter Pack was to give a tiny bag of agricultural inputs - fertiliser and seed - to every smallholder farmer in Malawi. Although the programme did not work as originally intended, it was successful in achieving food security. The scaling down of the programme was a major contributor to the food crisis which hit Malawi (and other countries in Southern Africa) at the beginning of 2002. For once, we have a success story about how hunger can be tackled efficiently. This book assesses the case of the Starter Pack programme in Malawi, and whether it can be replicated elsewhere. It covers the practicalities of implementing such a large programme and the policy debates.
Introduction Sarah Levy; Part 1: Origins and Management of Starter Pack; The Origin and Concept of Starter Pack, Malcolm Blackie and Charles K Mann; The Players and the Policy issues, Harry Potter; The Logistics and Costs of Implementation, Charles Clark; Pack Distribution and the Role of Vouchers, Anthony Cullen and Max Lawson; Part 2: Methodology of the Evaluation Programme; Design of the Evaluation Programme, Ian M Wilson; Experience and Innovation: How the Research Methods Evolved, Carlos Barahona; Lessons on Management of Large-scale Research Programmes, Sarah Levy; Part 3: Lessons from Starter Pack; Production, Prices and Food Security: How Starter Pack Works, Sarah Levy; The Farmer's Perspective - Values, Incentives and Constraints, Jan Kees van Donge; Do Free Inputs Crowd Out the Private Sector in Agricultural Input Markets?, Clement Nyirongo; Practical and Policy Dilemmas of Targeting Free Inputs, Blessings Chinsinga; Starter Pack and Sustainable Agriculture, Carlos Barahono and Elizabeth Cromwell; The Challenges of Agricultural Extension, Chris Garforth; Why Free Inputs Failed in the Winter Season, Hiester Gondwe; Financing and Macroeconomic Impact: How Does Starter Pack Compare?, Sarah Levy; Part 4: By Special Invitation; Poverty, AIDS and Food Crises, Anne C Conroy; Food Security Policies and Starter Pack: A Challenge for Donors?, Jane Harrigan; Feeding Malawi from Neighbouring Countries, Martin J Whiteside; Starter Pack in Rural Development Strategies, Andrew Dorward and Jonathan Kydd; Conclusion Sarah Levy.
Edited by S Levy, Consultant, University of Reading, UK