June 1983 - December 1983


Team Leader

Salima Lakeshore Agricultural Development Division Land Use Planning Study


This study, financed by the European Community, was executed by a team from Hunting Technical Services Ltd (UK) with A.A.Hutcheon as Team Leader.

The study required the team to produce a Land Use Plan for the Salima Lakeshore Development Division (SLADD) of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The study was done by rapidly re-mapping the soils, based on existing soil maps and updating via API plus field checks. Existing land use was also mapped using a variety of methods from study of aerial photographs, field observations, existing mapping and analysis of up-to-date satellite imagery. Mapping was also produced for Land Tenure based on existing mapping and survey department records plus updating from field observations and satellite imagery.

Available, suitable land was delimited by over-laying the various maps and noting what was not used and where - then determining if the land in that location had agricultural potential. Very small parcels of good, available land were not included in the final tally due to fragmentation and the difficulties of development.

Access to the lake was outside the front door and team members and visiting families went boating, wind-surfing, swimming plus hippo watching and avoiding, hippo regularly grazed the garden..

The Lakeshore of Lake Malawi

Farm in Vertisols in basin near Salima

The Team Leader's Input included:

Procurement of materials and transport, organising accommodation and offices for team and planning logistics.

Carrying out soils field checking and assisting with API and mapping of findings.

Correlation of reporting and report production.

All of this being done under the strain of living on the shores of Lake Malawi, see opposite. The lake allowed swimming, wind surfing and sailing - when time allowed and fear of Hippo did not deter people.

The study produced a land use plan by mapping out present land use and superimposing this on land capability mapping whilst considering land tenure / ownership status - which was also mapped.

Efforts were also made to update known population density / distribution based on the most recent and available census data.

The soil and land suitability studies were based on API of existing aerial photographs whilst current land use was mapped out from Satellite Imagery on station using a portable image processing set-up brought in for the purpose. Land Tenure data were collected from Government Agencies and collated onto mapping of the same scale as soils data etc.

Report passed to Ministry of Agriculture, Lilongwe, Malawi. Copies should be held by Commission of European Community office in Lilongwe and Hunting Technical Services, Thamesfield House, Boundary Way, Hemel Hempstead, Herts UK HP2 7SR.  Copy now lodged with WOSSAC.