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Library Tides shift on agrarian reform: new movements show the way

Tides shift on agrarian reform: new movements show the way

Tides shift on agrarian reform: new movements show the way

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Date of publication
December 2000
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ISBN / Resource ID

This paper first introduces the concept of land redistribution of land through agrarian reform, that would allow for a more inclusive model of development. The author then demonstrates how land concentration leads to displacement (migration) of rural populations, and as a consequence increased pressure in urban centres. In citing the World Bank's approach to comprehensive land reform and tenure systems, concerns are raised as being:how privatisation of communal lands could lead to instances of extraction based profiteering, to the exclusion of othersthe registration of land and subsequent facilitation of land markets could lead to a glut in the demand for land, as people sell off land in massRisks associated with market-led distribution as landowners sell off marginal (fragile) land, and increase use of unsustainable practises (e.g. pesticides) to enhance productivity. This in turn could lead to environmental degradationExacerbating poverty through saddling the poorer beneficiary families with heavy debt that cover the market-led aspects of the reform.Bank supported reform packages are often based on mechanisms that are seen to increase land degradation and poverty through the introduction of non-traditional export crops, increased use of pesticides, & chemical fertilizersIn response to this, the author puts forward some useful principles to be considered when dealing with the World Bank reform policies, and argues that the policy process tends to be drawn out, and it is this delay that paves the way for social movements to take the lead in addressing the question of land reform.

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P. Rosset

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