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The Evolving Sphere of Food Security$
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Rosamond L. Naylor

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199354054

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354054.001.0001

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Land Institutions and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

Land Institutions and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

(p.202) 8 Land Institutions and Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa
The Evolving Sphere of Food Security

Whitney L. Smith

Rosamond L. Naylor

Oxford University Press

Historic patterns of land governance and property rights have played an important role in creating conditions for low agricultural productivity and food insecurity throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Although the region is endowed with abundant land and natural resources, much of its rural population still lacks basic rights to land. Customary land rights are often overlooked or ignored by the state, and communities following customary land tenure principles—including the vast majority of rural residents—remain vulnerable to expropriation of their land and livelihoods without fair compensation. Insecure land tenure has become a more pressing problem for rural communities during the past decade, as outside (domestic and international) land investments have escalated. This chapter presents a legal analytical framework for assessing land institutions and property rights in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting two countries—Mozambique and Zambia—where land deals have become widespread.

Keywords:   land tenure, property rights, legal pluralism, land acquisition, smallholder farmers

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