Malawi is one of the twenty least developed countries in the world; it ranks 170 of 188 countries in the Human Development Index.
Malawi’s GDP depends on growing tobacco and tea, but drought and flooding have affected both these export crops and its staple food crop, maize. Poverty has increased in rural areas, where 80–85% of the population live, and the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee estimates that 6.5 million people need food assistance.
Other problems include the need to develop a market economy, improving educational facilities, environmental problems, HIV/AIDS (the ninth highest adult prevalence rate in the world), satisfying foreign donors on anti-corruption efforts; vulnerability to climate change, a weak economy, and low demand worldwide for Malawi’s agricultural produce.
- Maize-legume intensification
- Irrigation water management