Briefing Paper

Cost Benefit Analysis of Stimulating Farmer Uptake of Irrigation in Malawi

Creating wealth through agriculture has been a long-running development goal in Malawi. Within the country, irrigation is viewed as a valuable opportunity and has increased substantially for smallholder farmers, quadrupling from 15,988 ha in 2011 to 61,977 ha by 2019. It has the potential to open up the dry season for cultivation on a grand scale, comparable to rainy season harvests, while also stabilizing wet season cultivation, insuring yields against variable rainfall patterns. As such, it can provide a good opportunity for farmers – particularly the very large number of smallholders in Malawi – to increase their income and standard of living.