Southern African Agriculture and Climate Change: A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS — MALAWI (Saka, John D.K. / Sibale, Pickford / Hachigonta, Sepo / Sibanda, Lindiwe M. et a. IFPRI)

Malawi’s tropical continental climate is moderated by the effects of Lake Malawi and by the country’s high altitudes and proximity to the influence of westerly frontal systems that move eastward around the South African coast. There are two distinct seasons— rainy (October–April) and dry (May–October). The mean annual rainfall ranges from 500 mm in the hot, dry Rift Valley areas, where temperatures reach 35°C, to 3,000 mm in the highlands, where temperatures are moderate. Agriculture is the backbone of Malawi's economy contributing about 30 percentof the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The major food crops are maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas, rice, beans, groundnuts and various pulses, which are produced throughout Malawi. Life expectancy at birth marginally improved from 37 years in 1960 to about 50 yearsin 1992, before dropping back to 45 years in 2002.This drop has been attributed to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It rose to 48 years in 2005 and continues rising.

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Created Date: 05-11-2015
Last Updated Date: 06-11-2015
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