In 1949, the British colony of Nyasaland suffered a minor famine.2 More than half a century later, four decades after Nyasaland achieved independence in 1964 and eight years after Malawi’s first multi-party elections in 1994, the democratic state of Malawi suffered its first ever famine. How this could happen early in the twenty-first century is the subject of this chapter. Despite generating an extraordinary amount of media and academic attention, this famine remains a puzzle. Some elements of the story have received disproportionate attention – an example being the sale of the Strategic Grain Reserve – while others remain obscure. There is no consensus on how many people died, for instance, or even on whether the label ‘famine’ is appropriate at all.