The relations between farmers’ land tenure security and agriculture production. An assessment in the perspective of smallholder farmers in Rwanda

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Abstract

On the basis of a data set from four research sites over the course of three agricultural years (2006/2007, 2012/2013, 2016/2017), this article empirically assesses the relations between land tenure security and smallholder farms’ crop production in Rwanda. We show that the general assumption that secure land tenure improves farm level harvests, is not found for smallholder farms in Rwanda. We defined a farmland tenure security index based on plausible threats as conveyed by smallholder farmers at each research site. Our findings indicate that the harvest of main crops did neither statistically correlate with this index, nor show differences from the mean at all research sites. Instead, factors mainly related to the ongoing crop intensification program, though threatening tenure security, contributed to the increase of small farm harvests. Lower land tenure security did not affect farmers satisfaction of the crop program, most of them claiming that in the end what matters most is that their harvests continue to increase. Therefore, in Rwanda, a new wave of agriculture strategizing contributes to increasing small farms’ harvest of prioritized crops and decreasing farm land tenure security simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106122
Number of pages14
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Agriculture production
  • Land tenure security
  • Rwanda
  • Smallholder farmers

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