Malawi’s Green Belt: squeezing smallholder farmers?


Malawi’s Green Belt Initiative aims to offer land to local and international investors, in order to increase agricultural production, productivity, incomes and food security. But it may also be facilitating ‘land grabs’ from smallholder farmers.

This new Policy Brief (pdf) looks at the political economy of the GBI in Malawi, and finds some important concerns about the way it is organised and its effects.

These include a lack of clarity in rules for land transfers; top-down decision making about which land to allocate; and a lack of participation, accountability, and transparency. There is even the potential that the GBI might undermine instead of enhancing food security.

The authors, Blessings Chinsinga and Michael Chasukwa, explain the concerns and suggest a list of policy considerations, including on transparency, clarity and legislation.

The Green Belt Initiative and Land Grabs in Malawi – FAC Policy Brief 55 (pdf)

Photo: Sweet Potato by IFPRI-IMAGES on Flickr