Policy Research Brief on Synthesis Report II: The Changing Face of African Agriculture in an Era of Rural Transformation: Dynamics in Land System and Tenure PoliciesDOWNLOAD
About this Brief
Sub-Saharan Africa is witnessing rapid changes in farm size distributions. “Medium-scale” farm landholdings of five to 100 hectares now account for a substantial and growing share of farmland in many African countries. Since 2000, this category of African farmer has acquired more land and put much more new land under cultivation than large-scale foreign investors. In parallel to these developments, the region is witnessing changes in land tenure institutions that influence who is acquiring land. Parts of the region are experiencing a notable shift in the allocation of customary land from a rights-based approach that secures access to land for local born members of the community to market-based approaches to land allocation based increasingly on willingness to pay.
This policy brief summarizes key findings from the Synthesis Report II, which presents evidence of this profound farm-level transformation happening in the region, identifies the key sources of dynamism in the sector, and proposes an updated typology of farms that reflects the evolving nature of African agriculture. It underscores the rising importance of an entrepreneurial class of African commercialized farmers, and examines the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.