Focus: Land tenure security in Madagascar
Land is a vital resource in any society. However, access to land remains unequal in the South and undermines local communities. AFD is focusing on securing land tenure in Madagascar, with the aim of increasing producers’ incomes, securing their plots and reducing land-related conflicts.
Land tenure security: Key to agricultural development?
Land is a source of food, housing, income and identity. Access to land is therefore a vital issue in rural societies, especially in countries where there is an extremely high level of competition and pressure over land.
This is the case in countries where agriculture and livestock raising play a major role in the economy.
Land pressure is exacerbated by challenges such as population growth, climate change, the depletion of soil fertility, and the need for global food and energy security.
Land tenure security fosters the economic development of a country and thereby improves living conditions for its population. It does so by providing a set of measures and tools which allow land rights holders to enjoy these rights and be protected against any disputes. Owners can subsequently invest in their land.
Urban demand for food products unmet
As in many other sectors, the political crisis which ended in 2013 increased the level of poverty of people in Madagascar.
Two regions have been hit particularly hard: Analamanga and Itasy, where there is the largest number of poor households among the country’s 22 regions.
Rice-growing plot in the Itasy region
These are two particularly important regions, as they are highly agricultural and their proximity to the capital means that they are subject to urban demand for agricultural products. However, supply does not meet demand: the supply of food products falls short of urban demand.
This leads to inflationary pressure on retail prices.
Towards more equitable and sustainable land management
In addition to agricultural development projects or best practices to increase yields, land tenure security is an aspect which is not adequately addressed and on which AFD has been focusing efforts for over 10 years.
Back in 2004, AFD had already financed Madagascar’s first land tenure window in Amparafaravola, in the Alaotra Mangoro region.
Land tenure security is a recurrent problem which adversely affects agricultural development. The micro-fragmentation of peri-urban agricultural areas, difficulties and slowness of procedures to obtain titles, or lack of access to land certificates hold back investments and hamper agricultural intensification initiatives.
Air layering of lychees in Ambarikely, Itasy
It is for this reason that AFD, alongside the European Union, is supporting a project to assist the reform and land tenure security: the ARSF project.
This initiative is in line with AFD’s strategy for both agricultural development and environmental protection by promoting agroecological practices and reforestation.
This project was launched in 2016 and plans to establish mechanisms for land rights security, land management and property taxation in 75 rural municipalities.
Results already visible
Results were clearly apparent in December 2016:
- Some of the 4,000 land certificates and titles have been issued;
- 11 new municipal windows have been officially declared open;
- 22 mayors have been trained in order to ensure there is effective decentralized land management.
During the ceremony, some of the 2016 people received their land certificate
These encouraging figures should be followed by other economic, social, environmental and institutional results. A law on private property is also under preparation and AFD will continue to be fully mobilized on this issue.