Land Rental Market Legal Restrictions in Northern Ethiopia

September 1, 2016 - Author: Holden, Stein; and Ghebru, Hosaena

Holden, Stein; and Ghebru, Hosaena. 2016. Land Rental Market Legal Restrictions in Northern Ethiopia, Land Use Policy, Sept. 2016, Vol. 55, pp: 212–221


This study assesses the de jure and de facto land market legal restrictions in the Tigray region in Ethiopia and the extent of implementation of the new land rental restrictions that were introduced in 2006 that state that not more than 50% of a farm can be rented out. The knowledge, perceptions and attitudes regarding the law among local Land Administration Committee (LAC) members, local conflict mediators and a sample of rural households are investigated. We find that the rented area restriction is commonly violated and not enforced. The law is circumvented by framing sharecropping as something other than land rental, although sharecropping is the dominant land rental contract in the region. When it is made clear that the law may hurt weak and vulnerable (often female-headed) households that are unable to farm their land themselves and therefore rent it out, the large majority of LAC members, conflict mediators and rural households are against the law.

KEYWORDS: Land rental, legal restrictions, sharecropping, conflict mediators, land administration committees, female landlords, household attitudes


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