Malawi Land Symposium Event: Report available

Farm land in Malawi (Source: Mitchell Meyer/IFPRI, 2015)

The National Land Symposium on ‚ÄúComplexities of Land Issues in Malawi and their Implications for Agricultural Commercialization‚ÄĚ is one of the activities carried out under the policy communication component of the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support: Malawi Project (NAPAS: Malawi). The symposium was held on 20 April 2016 at the Bingu International Conference Center in Lilongwe. It involved five presentations by Malawian and international researchers and panel discussions on the presented papers by representatives of the private sector, civil society organizations, farmers, and traditional area chiefs. Eighty-six participants attended the symposium.

In July 2016, the four Land bills (Land Bill, Customary Land Bill, Physical Planning Bill and Land Survey Bill) were endorsed and approved by Cabinet. The symposium was planned before the Land Bills were passed. MoAIWD, in close collaboration with MoLHUD, viewed it valuable to assemble a broad set of agriculture and land policy stakeholders in order to learn from research related to land that has been conducted in Malawi. Results of this research would provide evidence for refining the land-focused strategies proposed in the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) and foster improved collaboration between MoAIWD and MoLHUD on issues of land in Malawi, particularly with respect to how land governance structures and processes might impact the agricultural commercialization efforts proposed in the NAP. The symposium was designed to guide stakeholders in expediting the process of adopting the Land Bills to facilitate efforts to commercialize the agriculture sector.

The Symposium started with opening speeches made by the Chief Director of Operations in MoAIWD, Mr. Bright Kumwembe, and the Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainable Economic Growth (SEG) of USAID/Malawi, Ms. Carol Jenkins, on behalf of the Principal Secretary of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Mrs. Erica Maganga, and the Director of SEG, Mr. Cullen Hughes, respectively. This report summarizes the presentations that were made at the symposium and the panel discussion that ensued. It also provides a summary of the responses from all participants to questions posed to the group in plenary as to the policy implications and directions emanating from the symposium. To download the report, click here.