Concentrating on cash cropping often leads to non-sustainable farming in which processes such as soil erosion are exacerbated.
Photos: GRET

21.09.2016

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Secure tenure of farming and forest land is increasingly recognised as an important factor of household food security and nutritional status. This is borne out by a study by the Laotian Land Issues Working Group. It demonstrates mutual impacts, how government land-related policies affect the factors involved, and who the winners and losers are.

Maintaining access to land and natural resources, such as forests and fisheries, is a critically important dimension of food security for the rural poor of developing countries. The rural poor have few assets apart from land and common resources. Livelihoods tend to be subsistence-based, reliant upon cultivating cereal crops, foraging wild forest products, hunting small game, and fishing in nearby rivers and streams. The little income that they do generate mostly comes from selling the crops they produce or natural forest products they collect – employment and business opportunities in rural areas far from towns and larger villages are mainly land-related. Secure access and control over land and natural resources is a major determinant of rural people’s access to food, whether directly through subsistence or indirectly with income used to purchase food items.

The conceptual importance of land tenure security for food security is linked to all four elements of the food security definition.

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