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No Clear Grounds

No Clear Grounds
The impact of land privatisation on smallhold farmers’ food security in Zambia
No clear grounds

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Date of publication
February 2014
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The global finance, energy and food crises are fuelling a global rush for land in developing countries. In their search for land, political leaders and investors look to Africa as a potential food supplier for the rest of the world. However, the current trend of land liberalisation rarely offers a solution to sustainable food production and poverty reduction among smallhold farmers in rural areas, as shown by this case study.
Zambia was among the first African countries to carry out land privatization to commercialise land tenure. The – very unpopular – 1995 Lands Act opened for the transfer of Customary Land held in trust by traditional leaders to be transferred to State, i.e. titled and tradable Land. It also allowed foreigners to buy* Zambian State land.
Since then, conflicts about land have been rising in Zambia. Private investment in Customary Land is mainly encroaching upon smallholders near mineral deposits marked for mining and in agriculturally attractive areas close to water resources, near urban settings and in the vicinities of tourist attractions.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

Peter Tygesen

Geographical focus