Mkwara, B. & Marsh, D. (2009). The links between poverty and the environment in Malawi. (Department of Economics Working Paper Series, Number 09/10). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/3652
Deforestation arising from conversion of forest areas into agriculture is a serious problem in Malawi. Cultivation of subsistence and cash crops is often cited as a major cause of this problem. This paper applies the von Thunen model to firstly, discuss competition for agricultural land and secondly, establish why the poor are closely associated with forests. Further, a regression analysis is conducted to examine the effects of changes in crop land use on changes in forest cover. Results indicate that cultivation of different crops has varying effects on deforestation. Cultivation of maize, primarily by the poor, appears to be the principal cause of deforestation while tobacco and pulses stand at second and third positions, respectively. Finally, a simple methodology is developed to estimate the extent of poverty-driven deforestation in Malawi.
Waikato Management School
- Management Papers