This white paper looks at one example of private land reform, Agros International, within the context of the global and historical scope of land reform methods.The paper states that methods of land reform can be understood within three general categories: government-directed reform, popular social mobilization, and market -based reform. However, despite the many benefits of secure land access, the application of effective land reform has proven difficult and rare. In light of this, it argues, private nonprofits and coalitions are essential to the research and application of effective land reform methods. Agros International addresses rural poverty in Latin America through private market-based land reform, established on a foundation of community planning and holistic development support. The organisation acts as a facilitator to meet the inadequacies of simply allowing the market to dictate the process of land reform. It mediates land purchase, provides loans for land ownership and infrastructure, supports the development and training needed to establish economically sustainable farming communities, and facilitates processes of community planning that prepare communities to become self-managing and self sufficient. The Agros model, they assert, reveals the weaknesses of traditional methods, offers practical solutions, and provides insight that can be carefully applied elsewhere. Among the conclusion are: contextualising current choices of land reform methods in an understanding of the history and global scope of these movements will contribute to greater success in developing effective solutions as regions and populations are specific, with unique histories, needs, and desires, and will require distinct applications of land reform methods that address their particular identities in the context of the three main categories of land reform methods, the Agros model, the author asserts, stands out as one that utilises practical methods of market-led reform yet fills gaps left by the standard application. It uses markets as a tool to meet the needs of people, rather than allowing markets to be an end in themselves Agros' strengths must be understood within its particular context where government-led land reforms have failed and social movements have proved only marginally effective in the face of often oppressive and unstable states
Authors and Publishers
We partner with rural families in Central America and Mexico who are living in poverty. Our goal is to help families develop the skills to work themselves out of generational poverty. Agros International—over a seven to ten year timeline—comes alongside families to ensure their basic food security and nutrition, and help them launch successful agro-businesses so that they can sustainably generate income above the poverty line.