Honorable Msukwa interacting with land owners

Land has become a scarce resource in Malawi as the population continues to increase rapidly.ย  As a matter of priority, the Government of Malawi revised the Land Act in 2016 to give ownership of land to the citizens unlike in the past when all land was vested in the presidency.

In order to secure land for the smallholder farmers, all land currently being used will be adjudicated and demarcated under the Shire Valley Transformation Programme.ย  Farmers will have records (name of the owner, size of the land, map, photo of the owner, etc.) of their land parcels as evidence of ownership. They will be requested to consolidate their land and form large farms for commercial farming either as registered business entities or cooperatives.ย  Those who will have consolidated their land, will use the land as share capital in the consolidated farming business.ย  Customary estate titles will be issued to certify land ownership to the groups that will have consolidated their land.

The SVTP through the Ministry of Lands and the Land Reform Implementation Unit have adjudicated and demarcated 20,002 land parcels so far in the Phase-I implementation area of the project on behalf of the Chikwawa District Council.ย  Chikwawa is one of the districts in the country where the new Land Laws are being piloted.

The Minister of Lands, Honorable Kezzie Msukwa together with his Deputy Honorable Abida Mia visited Chikwawa to monitor progress of the customary land demarcation and adjudication exercise being conducted in the district.ย  This process of customary land demarcation and adjudication will give people in the district full ownership of the land.

Speaking during the visit, Honorable Msukwa underscored the importance of the process to the success of the SVTP and to all future developments to be undertaken in the district.

โ€œLand demarcation and adjudication provides maximum security to land owners as no one can come and encroach that land.ย  This is in line with the new Land Act (2016).ย  This will ensure that land is passed on to generations.ย ย  Not even government or private investors can grab that land,โ€ he said.

Ms. Judith Richard

One community member, Judith Richard of Maganga village said she feels confident that her land has been secured from future boundary wrangles and encroachment.

โ€œAt first we were worried that the government would take our land away.ย  Through awareness meetings, I have learnt that it is important to have our land surveyed and registered to ensure full ownership for our children and even future generations.ย  No one will come and claim ownership or even encroach my land as I and my family will have a certificate to show ownership.ย  This will also make it easy to consolidate land for commercial farming,โ€ she said.

It is expected that at least 20 large farmers each measuring 500 hectares will be established during the first phase of the Programme.