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Déforestation, migrations, saturation et réformes foncières: La Côte d’Ivoire entre résilience rurale et litiges fonciers
[Deforestation, migration, saturation and land reforms: Côte d'Ivoire between resilience and rural land disputes]

Listed author(s):
  • KOUADIO, Hugues
  • DESDOIGTS, Alain

In the tropics, land transactions remain today carried out within the framework of custom and therefore constitute uncompleted sales, which it is often argued hinders investment and rural economic resilience. The Ivory Coast is no exception to the rule. Nevertheless, the absence of proper land titles has not prevented the Ivory Coast from becoming the first world producer of cocoa. This paper shows how the process of colonization of the land by internal and foreign migrants, encouraged and supported by the Ivorian State since independence, has led to the persual of an agrarian transition where small-holding migrants with the most fragile land tenure status take seriously the influence of the life cycle of tree crops when planning various types of investments for their land. Moreover, they tend, ceteris paribus, to invest more resources into their fields and to set up good agronomic practices. If this settlement dynamic enabled rural communities to steer towards a resilient agriculture, the absence of clearly defined property rights along with demographic pressure and land saturation has however led to a Malthusian crisis, curbing the green revolution. En dépit des nombreuses lois promulguées, depuis l'État colonial en 1935 jusqu'à l'État indépendant en 1998, le droit coutumier qui ne bénéficie plus d'aucune protection juridique, et sa gestion collective et informelle du foncier rural fait de la résistance. En 2009, 98% des transactions foncières s'effectuent toujours dans le cadre de la coutume et constituent pour beaucoup d'entre elles des "ventes inachevées." L'absence de titres de propriété n'a pourtant pas empêché la Côte d'Ivoire de devenir le premier producteur mondial de cacao. Cette étude montre comment le processus de déforestation et de colonisation de la terre par des migrants allochtones et allogènes encouragés et soutenus par l'État ivoirien depuis son indépendance, a engagé le pays dans une transition agraire en incitant les paysans au statut foncier le plus fragile, à investir et à mettre en oeuvre les bonnes pratiques agronomiques. L'absence de droits de propriété clairement définis associée à la pression démographique et à la saturation foncière ont cependant favorisé l'émergence de conflits fonciers. Les litiges fonciers sont-ils la seule réponse à la pression démographique ou, au contraire, la saturation foncière que cette dynamique de peuplement engendre, permet-elle aux sociétés rurales de s'orienter vers une résilience agricole synonyme d'intensification et d'accroissement de la production agricole?

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 49938.

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Date of creation: Mar 2012
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:49938
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  1. Fenske, James, 2011. "Land tenure and investment incentives: Evidence from West Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 137-156, July.
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