United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Land Tenure Security and Poverty Reduction ( March 2015)
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Land is fundamental to the lives of poor rural people. It is a source of food, shelter, income and social identity. Secure access to land reduces vulnerability to hunger and poverty. But for many of the world’s poor rural people in developing countries, access is becoming more tenuous than ever.There are some 1.3 billion extremely poor people in the world, struggling to survive on less than US$1.25 a day. About 70 per cent live in the rural areas of developing countries. In rural societies, the poorest people often have weak or unprotected tenure rights. They therefore risk losing land they depend on to more powerful neighbours, to private companies domestic or foreign and even to members of their own family. Women are particularly vulnerable because their land rights may be obtained through kinship relationships with men or marriage.If those links are severed, women can lose their rights.When insufficient attention is paid to secure access by small-scale producers and to land tenure issues, development projects can become part of the problem. For example, when irrigation is introduced into previously rainfed farmland or roads are built to link farmers to markets, the new economic potential of the land makes it more attractive, and small scale producers can lose out to more affluent or powerful settlers.Tenure issues affect the everyday choices of poor rural women and men, such as which crops to grow and whether crops are grown for subsistence or commercial purposes. They influence the extent to which farmers are prepared to invest in the long-term wellbeing of their land or to adopt new technologies and innovations. Lack of secure land tenure excacerbates poverty and has contributed to social instability and conflict in many parts of the world.Land tenure security for both women and men is just one step on the road to reducing rural poverty. Measures to increase tenure security must be complemented by pro-poor policies, services and investments. Policies beyond the national level are needed to address such issues as use of irrigation water, migration, pastoralism and conflicts that cut across regional and national boundaries.
IFAD ,   (2015 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Thematic Group:
 IFAD : International Fund for Agricultural Development
03.06.00  -  Land, Plant And Soil Resources
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