According to the Malawi Land Act of 1965, three categories of land tenure exist in the country. These are private, public and customary land. Private land is all land held under a freehold title, a leasehold title or land registered under the Registered Land Act of 1967. Public land is all land occupied by the government while customary land is all land held, occupied or used under customary law (Peters & Kambewa, 2007; Kishindo, 1994:57). Customary land, whose custodians are the chiefs, is very important for food production by small scale farmers since it accounts for 67% of the total land available in the country. Therefore ownership of land is crucial in food production and investments. In Malawi, land tenure is related to marriage systems of matrilineal and patrilineal nature. In the matrilineal system, inheritance and succession run through the female line while in patrilineal it runs in the male line. This entails that land tenure is gendered. It can either be held by a male or a female member of the family. This report sheds more light on the link that exists between gendered land tenure and investments in water infrastructure for multiple purposes in the Ntcheu district of the Chinyanja Triangle.
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The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) was established in 1977. It is one of 15 such centers supported by the CGIAR. ICARDA’s founding mandate to promote agricultural development in the dry areas of developing countries remains highly relevant today.