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Changes in land tenure and agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa


  • Otsuka, Keijiro
  • Place, Frank


Due to increasing population pressure on limited cultivable land in many parts of subSaharan Africa (SSA), farm size has been shrinking, fallow periods have been shortened, and soil fertility has been declining. In accordance with the Boserupian evolutionary theory and the Hayami-Ruttan induced innovation theory, however, investments in land improvements have taken place, which leads to strengthened individual land rights and the intensification of farming systems in many other parts of SSA. Based on the literature review, this paper argues that such evolutionary and spontaneous changes should be supported by means of technology development and dissemination, formalization of land rights, and improvement of access to agricultural markets.

Suggested Citation

  • Otsuka, Keijiro & Place, Frank, 2014. "Changes in land tenure and agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 051, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2014-051

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    Cited by:

    1. Binswanger-Mkhize, Hans P. & Savastano, Sara, 2017. "Agricultural intensification: The status in six African countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 26-40.
    2. Yeboah, F. Kwame & Jayne, T.S., 2016. "Africa’s Evolving Employment Structure," Food Security International Development Working Papers 246956, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    3. Yeboah, F. Kwame & Jayne, T.S., 2016. "Africa’S Evolving Employment Structure," FSP Research Papers 259511, Michigan State University, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    4. Nin-Pratt, Alejandro, 2015. "Agricultural intensification in Africa: A regional analysis:," IFPRI discussion papers 1433, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    population pressure; soil degradation; investments in land improvement; strengthened individual land rights; agricultural intensification;

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