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The Malawi Community-Based Rural Land Development Project. Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources August 4, 2008. Landlessness in the midst of idle land. About 11 percent households are landless or near landless. 917,000 ha of estate land, of which 600,000 ha idle Why?

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the malawi community based rural land development project

The Malawi Community-Based Rural Land Development Project

Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources

August 4, 2008

landlessness in the midst of idle land
Landlessness in the midst of idle land
  • About 11 percent households are landless or near landless.
  • 917,000 ha of estate land, of which 600,000 ha idle
  • Why?
    • Many estates were never put to full use
    • Others lost their viability when smallholders were allowed to grow tobacco – the “estates crisis”
  • The land market is not transferring the land to other users
    • Smallholders have no money to buy it
    • Few of the estates are suitable for investors
why not revoke the leases
Why not revoke the leases
  • While the leases are renewable, owners are unlikely to fulfill the development conditions for renewal
  • Many owners have not paid their land rent
  • Many leases are about to, or have already expired
  • Government could take the land back and return it to the chiefs of the surrounding communities
    • Would the land be encroached before the chiefs take control of it?
    • Would the chiefs allocate the land to the land-poor and food insecure?
    • Would there be resistance from the leaseholders?
    • Would it scare international investors?
  • Government will need to think about this option
but why pay people to migrate when they do so spontaneously
But why pay people to migrate, when they do so spontaneously?
  • About 5 percent of rural households have migrated from another district (Integrated Household Survey 2004/05)
  • 5 districts attracted tobacco tenant workers who remained after landlords abandoned the estates
    • Clearly part of the problem took care of itself
    • But only few estates were resettled in this manner
    • We know little about how well off they are, and whether they have security of tenure
  • There are also other rural-rural migrants
  • However, on average, these migrant households remain land poor and food insecure
main conclusions
Main conclusions
  • The problem of landlessness in the midst of idle land has not been solved
    • By acquisition of the land by former tenants
    • By spontaneous migration
    • By the land market
    • By reverting estates back to customary land
  • Therefore the CBRLDPilot Project was designed to develop and test an alternative approach
the cbrldp model
The CBRLDP model
  • Similar programs exist in Brazil, Central America
  • Communities form themselves into groups and are trained to look for land, acquire it and resettle themselves
  • They get a grant of 1050 US dollars to buy the land, cover resettlement costs, and other startup costs in the new location
  • They negotiate prices, with assistance from project
  • Their move and peaceful integration is facilitated by community-based Project Management Committees, Chiefs, Headmen, Community Oversight Committees and project staff
costs included in the grant
Costs included in the grant
  • Land, including fees, taxes etc (less than 30 % of total grant)
  • Resettlement cost and resettlement allowance
  • Food
  • Farm Development grant for
    • Inputs, labor, tools, etc.
  • Community infrastructure (including water)
  • Housing materials