Developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Malawi, need to transform their agri-food systems to address persistent low agricultural productivity, food and nutrition insecurity, low income, environmental degradation, and social inequalities. Recognising shortfalls of single-sector-focused interventions in addressing such complex development challenges, scholars and practitioners are looking to design and implement interventions that are based on a multi-sectoral approach. However, working across diverse sectors and stakeholders to address complex agri-food-systems challenges is not straightforward.
Often, trade-offs emerge in such interventions, with stakeholders focusing on different strategies, criteria, and priorities. This study aims to establish how synergies and trade-offs in multi-sectoral interventions manifest and influence agri-food-systems transformation, with a focus on Malawi. To unpack the synergies and trad-offs, the investigation explores features of multi-sectoral interventions, collaboration among diverse actors, and the agri-food-systems changes emerging from these interventions. The study will use mixed-methods data collection techniques to gather both quantitative and qualitative data. These techniques will include document reviews, surveys, key informant interviews, focus-group discussions, workshops, and case studies.
The knowledge generated aims to inform development of strategies for optimising synergies and navigating trade-offs when designing and implementing multi-sectoral interventions that effectively and efficiently integrate agriculture, food and nutrition, environment, and socio-economic development. The information can also facilitate policy processes that support multi-sectoral interventions to transform agri-food systems in developing countries.