Large-Scale Land Based Investments (LSLBI) platform in Malawi

The Large-Scale Land Based Investments (LSLBI) platform in Malawi is a multi-stakeholder platform that has been recently formed this year with an aim to provide space for dialogue for profitable, responsible and inclusive large-scale land-based investments in Malawi.

The formation of this platform was spearheaded and incubated by Oxfam in Malawi, following an international learning event that was organized by Interlaken Group.

The platform brings together representatives from government, companies, communities, traditional leadership and civil society organisations (CSOs). The Platform is currently headed by Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The Platform seeks to achieve the following outcomes:

• Reduced land conflicts resulting from LSLBI (co-existence between communities and the investors)

• Improved land registration systems and compliance to legislation regarding the LSLBI, including land use adherence

• Improved awareness among communities, private companies and CSOs on the new land related policies and laws in relation to Large-Scale Land-Based Investments As one of the ways in sharing best practices in responsible and inclusive investments,

The LSLBI Platform hosted a public event on 12 September to launch and discuss a case study that analyses the Phata Sugarcane Farmers’ Cooperative Irrigation Outgrower Scheme in Chikwawa. The in-depth case study on Phata Cooperative was done this year by Landesa (a US-based NGO focused on land rights) and LandNet (a Malawian NGO focused on land rights).

It analyses key features of how the Phata cooperative was designed, how it is being managed, and the results. The model shows, starting from 2011, how some members of the Phata community consolidated many small family fields into large blocks under the control of the cooperative. The cooperative receives technical and managerial support from Agricane – a local agriculture development company and investor. The cooperative sells the sugarcane produced under irrigation to Illovo.

The Phata model has lessons that show how farmers can organize themselves into cooperatives, scale up production, access infrastructure investment and partner with an investor for structured entry into the sugar market.

The LSLBI Platform hosted this event to launch this case study and to encourage debate and analysis of lessons learned that can be used for replication in other value chains. The event was supported by the Coca Cola Company and the Rights and Resources Initiative.