In Malawi in the past forty years the size of the average plot owned by farmers has halved. Landless people have from time to time become restless and embarked on land invasions and land grabs.
Malawi's government has plumped for a policy in which vacant land is identified and bought by the government at a market rate, then offered to poor families. It sounds like a neat arrangement.
But it doesn't work for everyone. Hilary Mbobe talked to Dr Ephraim Chirwa, a professor who has written extensively on how access to bigger plots of land can help the landless and near-landless.