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Land consolidation on Ghana's rural customary lands: Drawing from The Dutch, Lithuanian and Rwandan experiences
- Asiama, K.O., Bennett, R.M., Zevenbergen, J.A.
- Journal of rural studies 2017 v.56 pp. 87-99
- food security, habitat fragmentation, information systems, land markets, land tenure, traditional farming, Ghana, Lithuania, Netherlands, Rwanda
- Land consolidation is argued as a tool for increasing food security. However, past attempts to consolidate Sub-Saharan Africa's rural customary lands disregarded the existing land tenure system, and actually undermined food security: land fragmentation, which supported the traditional farming system, was not considered a problem, and more importantly, the projects merely attempted to transfer Western European land consolidation without taking local conditions into account. In response, this study aims to identify the factors that need to be understood when developing a land consolidation strategy for the specific case of Ghana's rural customary lands. The determining factors when selecting a land consolidation strategy are identified for three countries with existing land consolidation strategies: The Netherlands, Lithuania, and Rwanda. Subsequently, these are set against Ghana, which has no land consolidation strategy, but has customary lands. It is found that certain determining factors in Ghana - such as the state of the economy, and the farming technology - matched with the strategies of other countries. However, other factors including: the government support; the prior existence of conventional land markets; an individual land tenure system; and the coverage of a functioning land information system – were all absent in Ghana. The study concludes that the factors that differ require ways to be addressed and adapted in order to develop a responsible land consolidation strategy for Ghana's customary areas.