The Food-Energy-Water Security Nexus: Definitions, Policies, and Methods in an Application to Malawi and Mozambique
71 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2016
Date Written: November 20, 2015
This study summarizes the concept of the food-energy-water security nexus (FEW nexus). The aim is to create awareness about the importance of the nexus and to enable stakeholders to consider interconnections between the sectors in their work. The FEW nexus is discussed in the context of Africa south of the Sahara (SSA) — using Malawi and Mozambique as case studies. Even though analyzing food, energy, and water security issues simultaneously is critical given the interconnections, summarizing interventions with the FEW nexus approach in Malawi and Mozambique, we found that there are only a limited number of interventions in place. Additionally, this study reviews macro- and microeconomic models that are able to analyze the FEW nexus. On the macrolevel, especially general equilibrium models are discussed, because they show trade-offs and synergies of nexus interventions at all economic levels. These models can help guide policymakers’ understanding of nexus effects ex ante and convince them to think beyond their respective political departments. On the microlevel, the impact of nexus interventions can be assessed with qualitative and quantitative approaches. There are specific challenges for nexus interventions when it comes to aggregation and planning of the targeting. A secondary data analysis of nexus interventions shows that existing data is not sufficient to conduct research specifically related to the FEW nexus. The results of this study will help research programs to reflect the key questions required to enhance adoption of FEW technologies and inform policymakers as they formulate policies that will exploit the strong synergies of food security, energy, and water investments.
Keywords: Malawi; Mozambique; southern Africa; Africa South of Sahara; Africa; food; energy; water; macroeconomics; microeconomics; mathematical models; food policies; water policies; energy policies; nexus; interventions
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