Tajikistan is a mountainous country whose population largely derives its livelihood from livestock and small agricultural farms. Tajikistan strongly depends on water for the irrigation of land, with approximately 70% of all farmland under irrigation. 74% of the population is rural, while 18% of the total GDP comes from agriculture.
The 1994 Constitution recognizes the state ownership over land and natural resources. The Land Code of 1996 establishes the framework for land laws, providing rules to secure use and protection of land and recognizing the right to convey, mortgage and assign servitudes for land shares. Many aspects of social life are regulated by Islam and Sharia law, particularly in reference to the role of traditional non-formal leadership in Tajik communities.
Land disputes in Tajikistan should be resolved by formal courts, yet the majority of land related disputes are settled by the Land Committee, which is responsible for administration of land. Conflicts are particularly common along the borders with Kyrgyzstan, where the Tajik enjoyed almost free access to grazing land, but following the political tension between the two countries, borders were closed. As a result, the land available for livestock activities has diminished substantially.