World Bank: Nationalize Land to Capture Rising Value
|November 2, 2013||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
This 2013 excerpt is from BBC, July 23.
The continent is home to half of the world’s usable uncultivated land, yet has the highest poverty rate.
But the Bank said farmers’ inability to prove ownership, legal disputes, and land grabs had held back cultivation.
Land governance needs to be improved.
Writing in the report, Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity, the Bank’s vice-president for the continent, Makhtar Diop, said: “Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor.
Women make up 70% of Africa’s farmers, yet are locked out of land ownership due to customary laws.
The report recommends that governments secure tenure rights for communities and individuals, possibly using new and relatively cheap satellite technology to conduct land surveys.
Confusion over who owns what makes long-term investment in things like farm machinery or irrigation risky.
The Bank said now was a good time to rationalise land ownership, so Africans could benefit more from surging commodity prices and strong levels of foreign investment.
In recent years, investors from richer countries, outside Africa, have bought millions of hectares of land.