Malawi's land problem and potential for rural conflict
Government agricultural policies which favour large-scale agriculture and rapid population growth on a limited land area have combined to create a situation of land poverty in many parts of Malawi, especially in the southern region of the country. The government's response to land poverty has so far been focused on the creation of resettlement schemes. As such initiatives are expensive, they have tended to be piecemeal and benefit only a small fraction of land poor families. Frustrated land poor families have now resorted to land encroachment on privately held land. The emergence of movements dedicated to the restoration of estates to families with ancestral claims to the land marks a new stage in land relations which could have unwelcome consequences.