Resettlement for Food Security’s Sake: Insights from a Malawi Land Reform Project

Valerie Mueller, Agnes Quisumbing, Hak Lim Lee and Klaus Droppelmann

Abstract

In several African contexts, households are unable to enhance agricultural production due to land constraints. Few governments have explored the use of resettlement to alleviate land scarcity and facilitate rural-to-rural migration. We examine whether a resettlement project in southern Malawi improved food security in the long term. Our findings indicate resettled households achieved greater long-term food security, owing to additional land coupled with a more diversified crop portfolio. We also find the formalization of property rights improved land security for male and female household heads, but resettlement jeopardized the land security of women in maleheaded households. (JEL Q15, Q18)

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