The Mitigating Impact of Land Tenure Security on Drought-induced Food Insecurity: Evidence from Rural Malawi

This paper investigates the interaction between land tenure security and food security in agriculture-dependent households. We explore household variation in land tenure security and drought shocks across villages to investigate the extent to which land tenure systems affect the capacity of agricultural households in Malawi to cope with adverse impacts of weather shocks. Our findings reveal that land tenure security cushions the effect of drought regimes on food security. Further, we establish irrigation practice as the underlying channel that mediates the impact of drought shocks on food insecurity. The results of this study reinforce the growing consensus that property rights through land tenure security are associated with agricultural productivity and, consequently, household food security.