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A century of growth? A history of tobacco production and marketing in Malawi 1890-2005

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  • Prowse, Martin

Abstract

During the past century tobacco production and marketing in Nyasaland/Malawi has undergone periods of dynamism similar to changes since the early 1990s. This article highlights four recurrent patterns. First, estate owners have either fostered or constrained peasant/smallholder production dependent on complementarities or competition with their estates. Second, rapid expansion of peasant/smallholder production has led to three recurrent outcomes: a large multiplier effect in tobacco-rich districts; re-regulation of the marketing of peasant/smallholder tobacco by the (colonial) state; and, lastly, concerns over the supply of food crops. The article concludes by arguing that whilst the reform of burley tobacco production and marketing in the 1990s engaged with the first two issues, it may have benefitted from paying greater attention to the latter two issues as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Prowse, Martin, 2011. "A century of growth? A history of tobacco production and marketing in Malawi 1890-2005," IOB Working Papers 2011.10, Universiteit Antwerpen, Institute of Development Policy (IOB).
  • Handle: RePEc:iob:wpaper:2011010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael Woolcock & Simon Szreter & Vijayendra Rao, 2011. "How and Why Does History Matter for Development Policy?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(1), pages 70-96.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2014. "This Time is Different: A Panoramic View of Eight Centuries of Financial Crises," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 15(2), pages 1065-1188, November.
    3. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    4. Kydd, Jonathan & Christiansen, Robert, 1982. "Structural change in Malawi since independence: Consequences of a development strategy based on large-scale agriculture," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 355-375, May.
    5. Woelk, Godfrey & Mtisi, Sobona & Vaughan, J. Patrick, 2001. "Prospects for tobacco control in Zimbabwe: a historical perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 179-192, September.
    6. Lele, Uma, 1990. "Structural adjustment, agricultural development and the poor: Some lessons from the Malawian experience," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(9), pages 1207-1219, September.
    7. Kydd, J. & Hewitt, A., 1986. "The effectiveness of structural adjustment lending: Initial evidence from Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 347-365, March.
    8. Orr, Alastair, 2000. "'Green Gold'?: Burley Tobacco, Smallholder Agriculture, and Poverty Alleviation in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 347-363, February.
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