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.

Related Articles


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 November 25, 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 November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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