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Changes in Allocation of Land Holdings, Production and Farm Size in the Rwandan Smallholder Sector Over the Period 1984/1990 to 2002


  • Mpyisi, Edson
  • Weber, Michael T.
  • Shingiro, Emmanuel
  • Loveridge, Scott


There have been major shifts/changes in land use patterns in Rwanda over the past twelve years. A few striking observations include: As a percentage of total farmland, cultivated land increased. The increase in cultivated land occurred at the expense of pasture and fallow and woodlot. The share of pasture and fallow decreased from 22% in 1990 to 14% in 2002 and woodlot decreased from 11% in 1990 to 7% in 2002. This trend of increasing cultivated land is apparent from the mid-eighties to today. These observations imply that land is being farmed much more intensively without much time to fallow and allow the soil to rejuvenate. Pasture and woodlot are also being cut down at the expense of cultivation. This has important potential implications for productivity as well as for the environment. Average calorie production per person per day in Rwanda is believed to have dropped significantly during the war period, and then has increased on average in 2002 to levels near those measured in 1984. The rural population dependent on the land has increased some 27% since 1984.

Suggested Citation

  • Mpyisi, Edson & Weber, Michael T. & Shingiro, Emmanuel & Loveridge, Scott, 2003. "Changes in Allocation of Land Holdings, Production and Farm Size in the Rwandan Smallholder Sector Over the Period 1984/1990 to 2002," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 55356, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midcpb:55356

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    Cited by:

    1. Verpoorten, Marijke, 2009. "Household coping in war- and peacetime: Cattle sales in Rwanda, 1991-2001," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 67-86, January.

    More about this item


    food security; food policy; allocation of land; farm size; Rwanda; Land Economics/Use; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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