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.

    Partners

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 688
    Reports & Research
    Policy Papers & Briefs
    September 2017
    Malawi
    Africa

    This study uses data from the complete computerization of agricultural leases in Malawi, a georeferenced farm survey, and satellite imagery to document the opportunities and challenges of land-based investment in novel ways. Although 1.5 million hectares, or 25 percent, of Malawi's agricultural area is under agricultural estates, analysis shows that 70 percent has expired leases and 140,000 hectares are subject to overlapping claims.

    Reports & Research
    Policy Papers & Briefs
    January 2017
    Malawi
    Africa

    Many African countries rely on sporadic land transfers from customary to statutory domains to attract investment and improve agricultural performance. Data from 15,000 smallholders and 800 estates in Malawi allow exploring the long-term effects of such a strategy.

    Policy Papers & Briefs
    December 2016
    Malawi
    Southern Africa
    Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa

    Land degradation and soil erosion have emerged as serious challenges to smallholder farmers throughout southern Africa. To combat these challenges, conservation agriculture (CA) is widely promoted as a sustainable package of agricultural practices. Despite the many potential benefits of CA, however, adoption remains low. Yet relatively little is known about the decision-making process in choosing to adopt CA. This article attempts to fill this important knowledge gap by studying CA adoption in southern Malawi.

    Reports & Research
    December 2016
    Kenya
    United States of America
    Mexico
    Zambia
    Lesotho
    Zimbabwe
    Italy
    United Kingdom
    Ghana
    Nicaragua
    Bolivia
    Malawi
    Ethiopia
    Africa

    This report uses data from a two-year impact evaluation to analyse the impact of the Ethiopia Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) on household behaviour and decision-making, including agricultural production and other income-generating activities, labour supply, the accumulation of productive assets, access to credit and food security.

    Reports & Research
    December 2016
    Mozambique
    Kenya
    Zambia
    Chile
    Guatemala
    Zimbabwe
    Tanzania
    Madagascar
    India
    Malawi
    Netherlands
    Africa

    African agrifood systems are being transformed by multinational capital. To date, research on this transformation has focused most intently on the rise of supermarkets and demand for African land. Multinational investment in African grain trading has received less attention. Using a range of qualitative methods and representative household survey data from Zambia, this article seeks to understand the causes and consequences of multinational investment in smallholder grain markets.