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Malawi's green revolution : seeking sustainability 1998-2015.

Author: Charles Mann; Doug Karr; Michael J Palmer
Publisher: [San Francisco, California, USA] : Kanopy Streaming, 2014.
Edition/Format:   eVideo : Clipart/images/graphics : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Responding to recurrent food crises, by 1998 scientists in Malawi had developed and field-tested new maize varieties and crop combinations that promised Malawi a "Green Revolution." However, with farmers too poor to purchase seed and fertilizer, how to empower Malawi's farmers with this new technology? The answer came in a dramatic response to a food crisis in 1998 when donors and government distributed small  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Documentary films
Material Type: Clipart/images/graphics, Internet resource, Videorecording
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File, Visual material
All Authors / Contributors: Charles Mann; Doug Karr; Michael J Palmer
OCLC Number: 897771398
Notes: Title from title frames.
Event notes: Originally produced by Documentary Educational Resources in 2011.
Description: 1 online resource (1 video file, approximately 140 min.)
More information:

Abstract:

Responding to recurrent food crises, by 1998 scientists in Malawi had developed and field-tested new maize varieties and crop combinations that promised Malawi a "Green Revolution." However, with farmers too poor to purchase seed and fertilizer, how to empower Malawi's farmers with this new technology? The answer came in a dramatic response to a food crisis in 1998 when donors and government distributed small Starter Packs of the new seed, fertilizer, and nitrogen fixing legumes to all smallholder farmers in Malawi , 2. 8 million households. Production soared, and by the end of year 2, Malawi had a large maize surplus. Judging Starter Pack's annual $25 million cost unsustainable, donors forced a change in concept from spreading the new technology to all farmers to providing a social safety net: lower productivity seed and less fertilizer in the pack, and packs only for Malawi's neediest. This change placed Malawi's Green Revolution on hold, and production fell towards traditional levels, so that by 2005, Malawi again was in desperate food crisis. Over the objections of donors, the Government responded to the crisis by providing vouchers to all farmers allowing them to buy at a sharp discount two bags of fertilizer and improved seed. At a cost of about $70 million per year, the surge of improved seed and fertilizer restarted Malawi's stalled Green Revolution, and the country again moved into maize surplus. With the World Bank having judged this a "smart subsidy", perhaps this approach will prove sustainable, even though it overlooks much of the science that motivated the original Starter Pack approach. The film brings to life some central dilemmas of development policy as supporters and opponents of Starter Pack express their views, and as donors press to reshape the program from a focused instrument of technological change into an element of a social safety net, then into something midway between. To provide more background and deeper insight into the issues highlighted in the film, the video includes 57 clips selected from specialist interviews, organized into eleven themes. Each of these (or all) can be played as a unit, but the menu also permits going directly to any single clip, enhancing the usefulness of this extraordinary compilation of expertise. "I really like the Starter Pack film. It is thoughtful, balanced, picturesque, and is truly excellent in showing the reactions of various stakeholders. It's a gem." Walter Falcon, Prof. Emeritus, Stanford University and Former Chairman, CIMMYT Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards Official Selection, Woods Hole Film Festival, 2006 Filmmaker: Charles Mann, Doug Karr, and Michael J. Palmer.

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