Land Ownership Security in Malawi

African journal of agricultural research (Impact Factor: 0.26). 01/2009; 4(1).
Source: OAI


"This study examines factors that determine land ownership security among households in the rural areas (customary tenure sector) in Malawi. A framework for understanding land ownership security in the customary sector is proposed and using empirical data from different parts of Malawi, logistic regression analysis shows that the developed framework helps to explain land ownership security in practice. Though land ownership insecurity is almost negligible in the studied areas, this study has found that households that are categorized by the framework as non-indigenous (the weakest category of the four) are associated with a higher likelihood of feeling land tenure insecurity than the other categories (indigenous, weakly indigenous, absolutely indigenous). The modes of land acquisition, years that one resides in a community and gender of the household head also do determine land tenure security and women are found to be relatively land tenure secure than men. This study argues that outcomes from studies seeking to examine the link between land tenure security and land use efficiency in Malawi may become clearer if the developed framework or its variants are used to model the influence of customary land access systems on land ownership security because titling/no titling dummy variables do not say much about land ownership security in areas where customary systems dominate. Since women have a higher probability of feeling land tenure secure in matrilineal systems, development projects should endeavour to empower them as well so that they may equally participate in household level decision making as this would help them effectively use their land even in cases where their husbands feel land tenure insecure and hence withdraw their expertise from production. Again, the traditional system of land transfer is found to be resilient and this leads to questions about whether land titling could be an urgent need for people in the studied areas."

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    • "First, the inverse relationship could be due to market failures, which imply that due to high unemployment, smaller farms which may have more labor per acre of land than larger farms may be forced to use more labor than is optimal on their farms, resulting in higher yields for smaller farms. Secondly, this scenario could be due to omitted variables, such as soil quality in the econometric analysis (Matchaya, 2009). It is likely that most households will choose to cultivate better quality land first and choose land of relatively lower quality as they increase the size of their farms, implying that larger farms will have lower soil quality on average. "
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    DESCRIPTION: Tegemeo Working Paper
    No preview · Working Paper · Jan 2016
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    • "All previous work has either tested the reduced form hypotheses or has tested hypotheses using biased and inconsistent parameter estimates, which invalidate the test results. Furthermore, the structural model herein tracks land ownership security not only by the existence of a formal land title as in Feder and Onchan, (1987) or by land ownership institutions alone as in Hayes et al, (1997), Place and Hazel (1993) and Place and Otsuka, (1991), rather, by both formal land registration, land ownership institutions and residential statuses of household heads-a set of the often overlooked local variables which are shown to clearly explain land ownership security in Malawi (Matchaya, 2009 "
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    ABSTRACT: The determinants of investment, input use and land productivity are investigated under customary land ownership in the rural areas of Malawi. A structural model is specified to investigate the role of land ownership security on farm investments and input use and hence on yield. Testing of the structural form hypotheses requires recursive equation estimation. Owing to the presence of discrete, continuous and censored endogenous variables, the model is estimated as a system of equations using the emerging Roodman’s conditional recursive mixed process technique. None of the positive relationships that are commonly hypothesised in literature between land ownership security, investments and output are corroborated. In fact, land ownership security is found to have no significant effects on short-term, mediumterm and long-term investments which in turn means zero significant effect on output efficiency. These results put into question the potency of land registration as means of enhancing land productivity in Malawi.
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Property rights in land play an important role in the lives of the poor. They are assets used in the consumption and sale of crops, used as collateral for credit, or transferred and exchanged for capital or income. Property rights in land are also an indicator of status, affecting social and political standing within the community. Status can in turn affect social and political influence, access to services, and inter- and intra-household decision-making. Often differences in property rights reflect different power relationships. In the developing world, as elsewhere, the distribution of wealth and poverty reflects underlying property rights. The nature of property rights in land, how interests in land are managed, how land disputes and conflicts are handled, and how land use is regulated have an impact on the lives of the rural poor. Rights to land can determine a person’s opportunities, income, housing, economic and nutritional security, economic safety, political power, and social status. In this regard, poverty can be explained by differences in assets as much as by differences in income.
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