SLU news

Gender-based equality brings about less poverty and better nutrition

Published: 09 October 2017

The poverty and malnutrition expert Anderson Gondwe from the  International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Malawi is now visiting the AgriFoSe2030 programme.

Anderson Gondwe, originally from Malawi, graduated with a PhD in Economics in December 2016 from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. His PhD work focused on an empirical analysis of child nutritional status, poverty and inequality, household assets, migration and the labour markets in Malawi.

Where are you working at the moment?  

– I am currently working as a researcher with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based at the Lilongwe office in Malawi. IFPRI’s main work in Malawi advances evidence-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition. Clearly, the work significantly overlaps with the AgriFoSe2030 programme which targets UN Sustainable Development Goal no.2: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture".

What will you be doing during your visit in Sweden and in the AgriFoSe2030 programme?

– My three-month attachment with AgriFoSe2030 will yield a scientific policy report on “Gender segmented markets and production systems in Malawi” with a specific focus on smallholder agriculture.

What do you think makes the AgriFoSe2030 programme important, and why and to whom does it matter?

– Over the years, Malawi has made some progress in enhancing women participation in labour markets. This is reflected in the various legal, regulatory and policy frameworks, long and medium-term plans as well as sectorial plans and strategies existent in the country. The AgriFoSe2030 research agenda is well-aligned with what countries (including Malawi) collectively want to achieve by 2030. My expectation is that the programme will build on the progress made over the past few years. Moreover, email interviews and interactions with selected potential research users such as policy-makers and stakeholders confirm the relevance of the AgriFoSe2030 research to their organizations.

Tell us one thing that you are passionate about related to food security and sustainable agriculture.

– I have a personal interest in research that integrates gender equality issues. Part of my PhD work considered the gender dimensions in the empirical analysis of migration and agricultural employment which has implications for development policy in a poor country such as Malawi. In the empirical analysis of food security and sustainable agriculture, research has shown that by reducing gender-based inequalities, poor countries can increase their GDP, reduce poverty and improve nutritional outcomes. This is what really makes me passionate and why I have chosen to work on these topics!

Interview by Anneli Sundin, AgriFoSe2030 Communication and Engagement.

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