Land scarcity, family relocation and settler – host community relations: The experience of relocated families in Machinga and Mangochi, Southern Malawi

  • P Kishindo


Malawi has a skewed land distribution pattern characterized by the co -existence of large estates and smallholdings. This is largely attributable to colonial and postcolonial agricultural policies which favoured large scale export – oriented agriculture as the engine of economic development over subsistence oriented smallholder agriculture. In many of the agriculturally rich areas of the country, smallholders were pushed onto marginal lands with resultant poor agricultural output. In a country that is still industrially underdeveloped agriculture remains the principal means of livelihood and land shortage easily translates into poverty. The Malawi government with financial assistance from the World Bank is implementing a five year pilot project to relocate land poor families onto estates bought from willing sellers. This paper examines the dynamics of the relationship between the new immigrants and their host communities.

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eISSN: 1024-4190