The Minister of Lands Kezzie Msukwa says he is banking hopes on the completion of the yet-to-start review of land related laws to bring sanity in the ownership of land in Malawi.
Msukwa made the remarks during the 2021 Malawi Annual Agriculture Policy Conference, which took place at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.
The conference was organized by the Malawi Agriculture Policy Advancement and Transformation Agenda (MwAPATA Institute), National Planning Commission (NPC), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Centre for Agricultural Research and Development of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Civil Society Agriculture Network (CISANET).
Others are the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) and the Donor Committee on Agriculture and Food Security while the conference partners include Michigan State University, Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI), Centre for Agricultural Transformation and Pyxus Agriculture Limited.
Stakeholders at the conference complained that most Malawians including farmers fail successful implement their agricultural activities because they fail to have access to personal land where they can easily carry out their activities.
The minister conceded that while government is trying its best to rectify the challenge, it has an uphill task to do it.
“It’s not an easy task because we need to fight against the population as the country’s population is growing, but the land remains the same. Hence, we need to make laws that will be able to answer to such challenges,” said Msukwa.
Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Welani Chilenga said as parliamentarians, they are waiting for the land laws to be brought to parliament so that they appreciate and, in the end, come up with laws that will benefit indigenous Malawians.
“For us to achieve the MW2063, let us make sure that no land is sold to foreigners. Look at Blantyre, Lilongwe or even Mzuzu, shops are owned by foreigners, now they have even gone to rural areas such as Mchinji! All the land has been occupied. What kind of generation are we making?” asked Chilenga.
In his remarks, MwAPATA Institute Executive director William Chadza said landholding size is a big challenge in the country considering the population growth.
Chadza said in the next few years households are going to deliver their livelihood solely from farming hence land administration at customary level has to be looked into to ensure that there is security of tenure.
Meanwhile, the MwAPATA director has appealed to those entrusted with responsibility to review the laws to focus on how best they will secure tenure for Malawians while at the same time balancing that land is still available for some developments in the country.
Early last year, President Lazarus Chakwera directed that there should be a review of the land laws so that they are responsive to the needs of the citizens.
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