Case study: Malawi – Space, markets & employment

Malawi map with Mchinji district markedMalawi is one of the 3 case study countries of the Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development project.

Research update, August 2013

The first round of the survey was conducted in June/July 2013 in two Traditional Authorities, Mduwa and Mlonyeni, in Mchinji district in central Malawi.

Although the agricultural system in Malawi is dualistic (smallholder and estate sectors), the agricultural activities in the survey areas are dominated by smallholder farmers growing food and cash crops.

Smallholder farmers have small land holdings of not more than 3 hectares, which are usually fragmented into several plots under the customary land tenure system.

Preliminary data analysis shows that smallholder agricultural development in the areas generate or supports non-farm employment within the local economy, even when these links are traced up to the third level. In addition, most inputs are sourced within the local economy and expenditures by smallholder farmers and their linked households are also spent within the local economy, thereby having non-farm employment effects the local economy.