IFPRI EVENT RECAP: Urban proximity, demand for land and land shadow prices in Malawi

As part of disseminating CLTS related work, Sarah Tione presented a study at an IFPRI brown bag seminar that explored the spatial and intertemporal variation in farmland prices in Malawi around this critical period of land scarcity. This work was co-authored by Stein Holden and the full presentation can be downloaded from the IFPRI webpage

Abstract of the paper. 
We assess the spatial and intertemporal variation in farmland prices using per hectare minimum willingness to accept (WTA) sales and rental (shadow) prices between 2010 and 2016 in Malawi. We use quintiles based on distance from the nearest major city within the agrarian political economy perspectives on global and national land transactions. Results show that farmland shadow sales prices increased more sharply between 2010 and 2013 in rural areas (+100% vs +30% in urban proximity), a trend that was reversed by 2016 to three times higher in urban proximity. However, rental prices remain higher in rural areas. This indicates that the sharp increase in global demand for large-scale land transfers following the spike in energy and food prices also affected rural smallholders’ land valuation, even in remote rural areas of Malawi. With increasing land scarcity, land valuation and land markets should be central to the development agenda in Malawi.


The full published paper is available in Land Use Policy journal and can be downloaded here, doi: 10.1016 / j.landusepol.2020.104509.

Published 12. May 2021 - 20:27 - Updated 12. May 2021 - 20:27