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The Effect of Population Pressure and Internal Migration on Land Conflicts: Implications for Agricultural Productivity in Uganda

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  • Mwesigye, Francis
  • Matsumoto, Tomoya

Abstract

Despite the increasing incidence of land-conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa and their deleterious effects on agricultural performance, empirical studies on their determinants and consequences are scant. This study uses community-, household-, and parcel-level data from rural Uganda to examine the causes and consequences of different forms of land-related conflicts. We pay special attention to how population pressure and internal migration affects land conflicts. We find more land conflict cases in migrant host and ethnically diverse communities. We also find a higher probability of having land conflicts in districts that have had high population growth rates. As a consequence, we find that the yield is 22% lower on parcels with land conflicts than on parcels without conflicts, owned by the same household. After unbundling conflicts, we find that eviction conflicts hurt productivity more than other conflict types. Parcels with eviction conflicts have 45% lower yield compared with those without conflicts. Our results suggest that population pressure and internal migration weakens social cohesion and hence negatively affects community-specific informal land arrangements and conflict resolution mechanisms, which in turn, result in land conflicts. Ethnic diversity increases the likelihood of eviction-related conflicts which hurts production. Indeed we find that farmers in migrant host communities are less likely to consult informal conflict resolution channels when faced with conflicts.

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  • Mwesigye, Francis & Matsumoto, Tomoya, 2016. "The Effect of Population Pressure and Internal Migration on Land Conflicts: Implications for Agricultural Productivity in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 25-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:79:y:2016:i:c:p:25-39
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2015.10.042
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