2009 Green Belt Initiative: Land grabbing in Malawi

"Through the GB [Green Belt Initiative]I, the government has committed itself to offer local and international investors of land lying within 20k of the country's three lakes and 13 perennial rivers, an area amounting to about 1 million hectares, for irrigated agriculture."

"While about 2 million smallholder farmers cultivate on average less than 1 ha, 30,000 estates cultivate 100-500 hectares."

"The majority of them [the elite] acquired massive tracts of land under the auspices of...earlier land reforms that were implemented after independence from Britian in the late 1960s, which they are not prepared to give up even though much of it lies idle" (Peters and Kambewa, 2007)

"The paradox is that the GBI does not target the idle land owned by political and bureaucratic elite but that held by smallholder farmers, which in the absence of a definitive legislative framework is defined as state land. .... Thus until a new legislative framework is enacted, customary land will be treated as state owned as stipulated in the 1967 Land Act."

"The Green Belt Initiative and Land Grabs in Malawi," Future Agricultures, Policy Brief 55, November 2012. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC8Q... [verified 4/15/14]

#inequality #smallfarmers #Africa