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

Indicators

Total spending for agricultural reserch measured measured as a share of the value added from agriculture, forestry and fishing activities

Measurement unit
Percentage

Distribution of agricultural holders by sex (female - Share %) according to the FAO Land and Gender Database.

Measurement unit
Percentage

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). PPP GDP is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates.

Measurement unit
PPP$ 2011

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Measurement unit
1'000 Ha

Total funding for programmes still ongoing in January 2016 (US $).

Measurement unit
US$ (Current)

Total number of programmes still ongoing in January 2016

Measurement unit
Number

Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

Measurement unit
Number

Rural population refers to the share (%) of people living in rural areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated as the ratio between Urban Population and Total Population.

Measurement unit
Percentage

Mapping

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

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Arable land (1'000 Ha) is the land under temporary agricultural crops (multiple-cropped areas are counted only once), temporary meadows for mowing or pasture, land under market and kitchen gardens

Measurement unit
1'000 Ha

It measures the area (1'000 Ha) covered by forest.

Measurement unit
1'000 Ha

Land area is the total area (1'000 Ha) of the country excluding area under inland water bodies.

Permanent crops (1'000 Ha) - land cultivated with long-term crops which do not have to be replanted for several years (such as cocoa and coffee); land under trees and shrubs producing flowers, such

Measurement unit
1000 Ha

Permanent meadows and pastures - land used permanently (five years or more) to grow herbaceous forage crops, either cultivated or growing wild (wild prairie or grazing land).

Measurement unit
1000 Ha

Infographics

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.

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.

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.

Organizations

Library

Displaying 1 - 6 of 754
Journal Articles & Books
December 2017
Malawi
Mozambique
Zambia
Africa
Southern Africa

In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change on the use of sustainable agricultural practices as an adaptation strategy in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa.

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.

Multimedia
December 2016
Malawi
Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa

This participatory video was filmed, produced, and directed by a group of 12 farmers and community members from the villages of Mpulula, Malaswa, Kapalula, and Gwauya, Malawi. With this video they want to communicate the message that “we can conserve the environment by finding solutions to end poverty.” The film features farmers describing the value of trees, vetiver grass strips, collective action and the importance of alternative livelihoods to the destructive practice of charcoal making. In English and Chichewa.

Journal Articles & Books
December 2016
Malawi

Agriculture accounts for most of the renewable freshwater resource withdrawals in Malawi, yet food insecurity and water scarcity remain as major challenges. Despite Malawi’s vast water resources, climate change, coupled with increasing population and urbanisation are contributing to increasing water scarcity. Improving crop water productivity has been identified as a possible solution to water and food insecurity, by producing more food with less water, that is, to produce “more crop per drop”.