Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Growers the big winners in Malawi's tobacco industry

Date:
December 18, 2013
Source:
Springer
Summary:
Tobacco growers are the big winners, while the environment and people who have lost land to tobacco estates are the major losers in Malawi's expanding tobacco industry. The author of this study believes that concerted and coordinated efforts are needed to solve the related dilemmas faced by this African country.

Tobacco growers are the big winners, while the environment and people who have lost land to tobacco estates are the major losers in Malawi's expanding tobacco industry. This is according to Alois Mandondo of the Centre for Agrarian and Environmental Studies in Zimbabwe. Mandondo, as leader of a study published in Springer's journal Human Ecology, believes that concerted and coordinated efforts are needed to solve the related dilemmas faced by this African country.

Malawi has been the leader in tobacco production in southern Africa dating back to the 1890s, and the industry is still the cornerstone of the country's economy. To assess the social, economic and environmental impacts and trade-offs of investing in Malawi's tobacco industry, Mandondo and his team focused on two prime tobacco growing districts in the Miombo woodlands. They found that the net benefits of the industry are reduced by high government subsidies, and the limited in-country value ultimately translates into loss of jobs and revenue.

The socio-economic impacts of the expansion of tobacco growing in Malawi are highly variable, depending on the stakeholder group or business model in question. Tobacco growers benefit most from the industry's expansion, with those losing land to large-scale tobacco estates on the losing end of the equation. Efforts to recuperate livelihoods are generally less than adequate to offset the costs of land loss. Growers sponsored by large estates show significantly higher returns than independent growers or smallholder farms, which are typically run by single families.The high rate of tobacco-induced deforestation is also a major environmental concern.

Deforestation is caused by continued plantation expansion and the subsequent, unsustainable wood-sourcing practices in an effort to provide low-cost fuel to dry and cure tobacco. While estates are mandated by law to maintain tree plantations on at least 10 percent of their own land, this law is rarely enforced, justified by the national strategic importance of the tobacco industry. The subsequent depletion of natural forests by smallholder wood suppliers and others, combined with the increased global demand for tobacco, have caused tobacco farming to spill over into neighboring Zambia and Mozambique. This in turn ratchets up the potential for rapid deforestation there, as well.

"The major lesson appears to be that there is no single solution to any of the problems: each, if not all, will require sets of solutions pursued in tandem in a coordinated manner," Mandondo writes. "While highlighting areas of improved governance that are needed to enhance the transition to a more sustainable and socially just industry, we also acknowledge the technical and political challenges involved in such a transition."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Springer. "Growers the big winners in Malawi's tobacco industry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218133702.htm>.
Springer. (2013, December 18). Growers the big winners in Malawi's tobacco industry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218133702.htm
Springer. "Growers the big winners in Malawi's tobacco industry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131218133702.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

Raw: Volcano Erupts on Papua New Guinea

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Several communities were evacuated and some international flights were diverted on Friday after one of the most active volcanos in the region erupts. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

Raw: Small Volcanic Eruption in Iceland

AP (Aug. 29, 2014) Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red on Friday during a small eruption at the Holuhraun lava field in the Bardabunga volcano system. (Aug. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins