Assessing Effects of Large-Scale Land Transfers: Challenges and Opportunities in Malawi's Estate Sector

35 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2017

See all articles by Klaus Deininger

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Fang Xia

University of International Business and Economics (UIBE); World Bank

Date Written: September 20, 2017

Abstract

This study uses data from the complete computerization of agricultural leases in Malawi, a georeferenced farm survey, and satellite imagery to document the opportunities and challenges of land-based investment in novel ways. Although 1.5 million hectares, or 25 percent, of Malawi's agricultural area is under agricultural estates, analysis shows that 70 percent has expired leases and 140,000 hectares are subject to overlapping claims. This reduces revenue from ground rent by up to US$35 millon per year or 5 percent of public spending and, by decreasing tenure security, may affect the productivity of land use. Indeed a 2006/07 survey shows large farms underperforming small ones in yield, productivity, and intensity of land use, while failing to generate positive spillovers. Recently passed Land Acts create opportunities to clarify the boundaries and lease status for existing estates as a first step toward systematic demarcation of customary estates. Failure to follow this sequence could exacerbate insecurity, with undesirable effects on productive performance.

Keywords: Agricultural Economics, Gender and Economic Policy, Gender and Economics, Gender and Poverty, Economics and Gender

Suggested Citation

Deininger, Klaus and Xia, Fang, Assessing Effects of Large-Scale Land Transfers: Challenges and Opportunities in Malawi's Estate Sector (September 20, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8200, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3040389

Klaus Deininger (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kdeininger

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Fang Xia

University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) ( email )

10, Huixin Dongjie
Changyang District
Beijing, Beijing 100029
China

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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