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International Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Food Systems

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Land Tenure and Gender Relations: Implications for Sustainable Rural Development

FN Nnadi, J Chikaire

Abstract


One of the most serious obstacles to increasing the agricultural productivity and income of rural women is their lack of security of tenure. Security of tenure is not limited to private ownership but can exist in a variety of forms such as leases on public land or user rights to communal property. If tenure is secure, the holder can reasonably expect to use the land to its best advantage in accordance with the right, reap a timely and fair return and be able to enforce the right against non-holders. Tenure enables the holder to make management decisions on how land-based resources will be used for immediate household needs and long-term sustainable investment. This paper shows that access to land guarantees sustainable food security and examines percentages of cultivated land by women in four countries – Thailand, Trinidad, Nigeria and Syria. In order for women farmers, who are responsible for 60-80% of the food production in Nigeria, to use land more efficiently and thereby make a greater contribution in food security, they need access to land, management control of land-based resources, and economic incentives that security of tenure provides.

Keyword: Land tenure, gender, food security, poverty, marginalization, rural development



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