Making Negotiated Land Reform Work: Initial Experience from Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa

37 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Klaus Deininger

Klaus Deininger

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC); World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: November 1999

Abstract

Can land reform have a lasting impact on poverty reduction? The paper describes and evaluates a new type of negotiated land redistribution and highlights key areas that merit attention in designing programs of this nature.

The author describes a new type of negotiated land reform that relies on voluntary land transfers negotiated between buyers and sellers, with the government's role restricted to establishing the necessary framework for negotiation and making a land purchase grant available to eligible beneficiaries.

This approach has emerged-following the end of the Cold War and broad macroeconomic adjustment - as many countries face a second generation of reforms to address deep-rooted structural problems and provide a basis for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

The author describes initial experiences in Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa. It is too soon to know whether negotiated land reform can rise to the challenges administrative land reform failed to solve but the data so far suggests that:

-Negotiated land reform can succeed only if measures are taken to make the market for land sales and rentals more fluid transparent.

-Productive projects are likely to be the key to market-assisted land reform. The potential for project productivity establishes an upper bound on the price to be paid and a basis for financial intermediaries to evaluate the project. It also requires beneficiaries to familiarize themselves with the realities they`re likely to confront as independent farmers and the limits to how much land reform can help them achieve their goals.

-The only way to effectively coordinate the entities involved in the process is through decentralized, demand-driven implementation.

-The long-run success of land reform depends on getting the private sector involved and using the land purchase grant to crowd in private money.

This paper - a product of Rural Development, Development Research Group - is part of a larger effort in the group to monitor and evaluate a number of innovative approaches to land reform in various countries. The author may be contacted at kdeininger@worldbank.org.

Suggested Citation

Deininger, Klaus, Making Negotiated Land Reform Work: Initial Experience from Brazil, Colombia, and South Africa (November 1999). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2040. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=636210

Klaus Deininger (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Economics Group (DEC) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/kdeininger

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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