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Responsible consolidation of customary lands: A framework for land reallocation

Asiama, K.O., Bennett, R.M., Zevenbergen, J.A., Da Silva Mano, A.
Land use policy 2019 v.83 pp. 412-423
agricultural land, case studies, habitat fragmentation, land tenure, models, politics, Ghana
Land reallocation is an important step of land consolidation where farmland parcels are reorganised and redistributed. Most current land reallocation approaches focus on the technical aspects, at the expense of the social, cultural, economic, and political factors which are important on customary lands. This paper develops an approach for land reallocation to support responsible land consolidation on customary lands taking these factors into consideration. Using the process model approach, we identify the key characteristics of customary land tenure and the general requirements for land reallocation of these lands; from which a land re-allocation approach is developed. This is subsequently applied to a case study in Northern Ghana. The results show that even though the approach is successful to the extent that land fragmentation (physical and legal) is significantly reduced in the study area; social land mobility, land tenure and cultural practices hinder the application of the land reallocation as this would either increase legal or physical land fragmentation.