The Status of Customary Land and the Future of Smallholder Farmers Under the Current Land Administration System in Zambia | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
October 2015
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The past decade has ushered in an era of increasingly contentious land politics in Zambia, with investors, the government, and chiefs simultaneously blamed for injustices in land allocation. These conflicts over land have been exacerbated, and at times caused by the lack of transparency and available data on the status of land. While a variety of actors has real grievances with the security and efficiency of the current system of land allocation, smallholder farmers bear the brunt of the risk of continuing the status quo in land policy. As active land markets in customary land encroach on traditional systems of land management, smallholder farmer populations have been pushed off ancestral land. These farmers have limited legal or institutional recourse in the current system due to the lack of recognition of land sales on customary land, due to outdated, non-comprehensive land policies. Thus, the ability of smallholder farmers to access or continue to access arable land is often at the mercy of the decisions of a generally well-meaning but unequipped individual, the traditional chief.
These chiefs lack the resources and training to efficiently and objectively allocate land.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
Lauren Honig and Brian P. Mulenga

Established in October 2011, the Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute (IAPRI) is a non-profit Zambian company limited by guarantee which collaboratively works with public and private stakeholders in the agricultural sector. IAPRI is led by a local Board of Directors drawn from various state and private sector stakeholders.

Our Vision: To be the Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Policy Research and Outreach in Zambia.

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