Malawi

MWI

Malawi

Malawi is a small and landlocked country whose economy is mainly based on agriculture. 49% of the total land is agricultural land, 81% of the total population is rural and the majority of the agricultural sector is made up of farmers cultivating small plots of land for their own consumption.   

The constitution of Malawi establishes that all land belongs to the state and that every citizen has the right to property and use land for economic activities.  There are several laws governing land tenure in terms of recognition of types of land tenure, conversion of customary land for agricultural development and means of land dispute resolution over customary land, title registration system and the prohibition for non-citizens to purchase land. The 2002 Land Policy has as main objectives to ensure tenure security and equitable access to land without discrimination, to define rules for land allocation and market transactions, to promote the decentralization of land administration, to create a new land registration system and encourage the community management of natural resources. However, more specific laws to enforce the provisions established in the Land Policy have never been passed. Customary law still regulates land allocation, use and transfer; it has been recognized by the Land Policy of 2002, which calls for the incorporation of traditional customary land structure in the formal land-administration structure.

Land disputes in Malawi generally occur over land transactions, land access and inheritance land rights. The majority of these disputes are resolved by traditional leaders and courts that are recognized by the Constitution. 

Source of the narrative

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Indicators

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Infographics

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
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    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.

    Media

    Latest News

    28 May 2017
    Malawi

     Globally, principles for responsible investment in agriculture and food system, requires respecting, protecting, and promoting human rights, including the progressive realization of the right to adequate food, in the context of national food security. This is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments and protocols.

    International principles, protocols that safeguard land rights

    Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND)
    Malawi
    Mozambique
    Sierra Leone
    Tanzania

    The winners have been identified of a £3.65m Challenge Fund funded through DFID’s LEGEND (Land-Enhancing Governance for Economic Development) umbrella programme, to drive innovative and responsible investments in land, in particular agriculture. The fund, managed by KPMG LLP, seeks to improve the effects of land investments on communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Malawi

    By: Luke Bisani

    Date: 18 September 2016

    Source: Malawi24

    Women across Africa have been mobilised to call on leaders on the continent to address land rights issues as one way of achieving sustainable development.

    The call comes at time when women in rural areas of Africa are seen as having no piece of land, a development that has brought hiccups on food production on the continent.

    Malawi
    Sub-Saharan Africa

    Date: August 26, 2016 
    Source: Action Aid press release

    In Malawi, women’s land rights are often governed by customary laws, which are unwritten and lead to the marginalisation of women. Incredibly, women own just 1% of Africa’s land. In the village of Chikojo in Malawi, Maureen Adson is taking a stand.
    Find out how you can support women like Maureen here!

    Latest Blog

    The Sugar Rush in South Africa - land grabs, land rights, human rights, agriculture
    Southern Africa
    Malawi
    Mozambique
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Swaziland
    Tanzania
    Zambia
    Zimbabwe

    By Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex

    The expansion of sugar production in southern Africa has been dramatic. From its early beginnings in Natal to the huge commercial estates across the region established during the colonial era, new investments are being planned. The land rush in southern Africa is often a sugar rush, with the ‘white gold’ promising riches to governments, local elites and large corporates alike.

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 677
    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2013

    Carbon-based forest conservation requires the establishment of ‘reference emission levels’ against which to measure a country or region's progress in reducing their carbon emissions. In East Africa, landscape-scale estimates of carbon fluxes are uncertain and factors such as deforestation poorly resolved due to a lack of data.

    Policy Papers & Briefs
    December 1997

    This paper uses cross section-time series data on 57 communities in Malawi to determine statistically the factors determining changes in land use, tree cover, and crop yield. The econometric model is developed from a theoretical model which also endogenizes population growth and prevailing land tenure institutions within the customary sector of Malawi. The analysis reflects changes between 1971 and 1995, utilizing aerial photos taken at these dates and complementing these with field surveys.

    Conference Papers & Reports
    December 2006

    In this paper, we analyze the factors that influence t he productivity of maize among smallholder farmers, given that unfavourable output and input market conditions throughout the 1990s have compelled smallholder farmers into unsustainable agricultural intensification. We use farm-household survey data in order to compare the productivity of smallholder maize production under integrated (ISFM) and chemicalbased soil fertility management using a normalized translog yield response model.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2014

    Farm typologies are a useful tool to assist in unpacking and understanding the wide diversity among smallholder farms to improve targeting of crop production intensification strategies. Sustainable crop production intensification will require the development of an array of nutrient management strategies tailored to farm-specific conditions, rather than blanket recommendations across diverse farms.

    Policy Papers & Briefs
    December 1996

    Soil erosion is widely considered to be a serious threat to the long-term viability of agriculture in many parts of the world. The problem is particularly serious in certain developing countries. This paper examines key factors affecting smallholder farmers, decisions about soil depletion and conservation. The analysis focuses exclusively on the on-site productivity losses due to soil erosion in an attempt to understand farmer behaviour, thus ignoring any externality effects or off-site costs.