Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 31–46 | Cite as

Customary rights and societal stakes of large-scale tobacco cultivation in Malawi

Article

Abstract

The recent surge in land-based investments in the global South has been seen as both an opportunity for rural economic development and as a trend that poses significant social and environmental risks. This study sheds light on this debate through a look at the tobacco industry in Malawi. We employ a case study approach to investigate how rights, property, and authority associated with land and forest resources have shifted in the context of expanded investments in tobacco, and the stakes for both local land users and citizens. Findings point to the need to broaden the metric of risks and trade-offs associated with large-scale land acquisitions, and to engage in a deeper reading of how these are borne out throughout history.

Keywords

Tobacco Investment Customary rights Miombo woodlands Malawi 

Abbreviations

ADMARC

Agricultural development and marketing cooperative

FMB

Farmers Marketing Board

GDP

Gross domestic product

NTFP

Non-timber forest product

STA

Sub-traditional authority

TA

Traditional authority

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geography and Geographic Information ScienceUniversity of IllinoisChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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