In this section, you may find new materials that have been published on the topic of ‘Land Access and Rural Development’ since the date of the event. We continually select major new publications and articles that add up to the policy points discussed in the briefing:

– Land Policies and their Implications for Smallholder Agriculture in Africa: A Review of Policies in Six Countries, May 2015

This report presents a review of national land and agricultural policies and policy formulation and implementation processes in Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique and Zambia – six out of the sixteen African countries in which AGRA is active. The review was undertaken during the months of June and July 2014 to facilitate provision of high quality policy support to AGRA program countries to develop and implement land policies that will strengthen property rights to enhance investments and innovations by farmers for improved agricultural productivity. The report presents lessons on good and bad practice of agricultural policy formulation and implementation in Africa and recommends strategies to inform the work of AGRA and its partner countries going forward.

– Land pressures, the evolution of farming systems, and development strategies in Africa: A synthesis, October 2014

Evidence assembled in this special issue of Food Policy shows that rising rural population densities in parts of Africa are profoundly affecting farming systems and the region’s economies in ways that are underappreciated in current discourse on African development issues. This study synthesizes how people, markets and governments are responding to rising land pressures in Africa, drawing on key findings from the various contributions in this special issue. The papers herein revisit the issue of Boserupian agricultural intensification as an important response to land constraints, but they also go further than Boserup and her followers to explore broader responses to land constraints, including non-farm diversification, migration, and reduced fertility rates. Agricultural and rural development strategies in the region will need to more fully anticipate the implications of Africa’s rapidly changing land and demographic situation, and the immense challenges that mounting land pressures pose in the context of current evidence of unsustainable agricultural intensification, a rapidly rising labor force associated with the region’s current demographic conditions, and limited nonfarm job creation. These challenges are manageable but will require explicit policy actions to address the unique development challenges in densely populated rural areas.

– Study reveals major gender differences in access to fertile land and agriculture support in Africa
CGIAR, 15-09-2014

Women in East and West Africa are left to produce food on smaller, and less fertile land than their male counterparts. This, and many other disadvantages, are severely compromising, and shaping, their abilities to act on climate change. A new paper reveals women’s lack of ownership of productive land, and access to agriculture service organisations in West and East Africa are indeed affecting their ability to build a climate-resilient future. Food production, climate change and gender. An inter-linked and deeply intriguing research combination that, despite genuine efforts, we still know very little about. Lack of evidence on how men and women farmers are differently impacted by and adapt to climate change is also why gender-conversations still revolve around theories. It is not until recently that sex-aggregated data has started to make headway, further helping to build momentum to take gender-issues more seriously, both internally within research institutions and externally in rural communities. [Click here to read the paper]

– Exploring gender-based inequalities in land ownership in Africa, 13-05-2014

A new paper from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), “Gender Inequalities in Ownership and control of land in Africa,” highlights gender-based inequalities in land ownership within African countries. IFPRI provides statistics on a number of land outcomes that may aid key stakeholders engaged in discussions of gender-related land inequalities while also illustrating the importance of measuring land indicators for gendered development in Africa. IFPRI presents previously unpublished statistics on gender and land in Africa- a review of existing studies to summarize trends in land ownership, access, and control by sex; and a discussion of how to measure gendered land outcomes, the meaning of ownership and control in various contexts, and the importance of considering these factors when developing and studying gender and land statistics. Acknowledging that many claims on women’s land ownership in Africa are oversimplified, the researchers still identified a consistent trend of African women owning less land then men, regardless of how land ownership was defined. While African women consistently are disadvantaged in comparison to men across most measures of land ownership and rights, the gender gap varies widely between countries. [Click here to read the paper]

– Land grabbing: is conservation part of the problem or the solution?
IIED, September 2013

Large-scale land acquisitions are increasing in pace and scale, in particular across parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Weak governance and poor land use planning mean that commercial ‘land grabs’ often damage biodiversity as well as dispossessing people from customary rights and livelihoods. Land can also be ‘grabbed’ for ‘green’ purposes, triggering conflicts that undermine potential synergies. Expanded state protected areas, land for carbon offset markets and REDD, and for private conservation projects all potentially conflict with community rights. Such conflict is counterproductive because secure customary and communal land tenure helps enable sustainable natural resource management by local communities. This briefing presents the experience of international development, wildlife and human rights practitioners, shared at a symposium on land grabbing and conservation in March 2013.

Africa’s Land Reform Policies Can Boost Agricultural Productivity, Create Food Security and Eradicate Poverty  
The World Bank, 22-07-2013

Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable uncultivated land, some 202 million hectares that can be brought under the plow. Yet it has the highest poverty rate in the world. The continent’s poor development record suggests it has not leveraged its abundant agricultural land and natural resources to generate shared and sustained growth. A new World Bank report “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” released on July 22, argues that poor land governance – the manner in which land rights are defined and administered – may be the root of the problem. The report offers a series of 10 steps for improving land governance that can help to revolutionize agricultural production and end poverty in Africa. With political will from African Governments and support from development partners, the plan to improve land governance in Africa in a decade could cost as little as US$4.5 billion. [Click here to read the report

Incorporating climate change considerations into agricultural investment programmes

FAO Investment Centre, 21-2012

FAO presents a new publication: “Incorporating climate change considerations into agricultural investment programmes – A guidance document”. The guidance document is intended to help governments and their professional advisers in agricultural and rural development investment operations to mainstream climate change considerations in programme identification, design and supervision.

– Land grab in Africa Emerging land system drivers in a teleconnected world, 2010

The ambition of this GLP report is to scrutinize and triangulate the scattered quantitative information that is currently available from various informal sources on land grabs in Africa in order to provide an answer to the question of ‘where, how much and for what’ investors have been acquiring land on the African continent. By this, we aim to provide reasonably accurate insight into the magnitude of this emerging pressure on land as of April 2010, when the information search was concluded.

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