Arable Land Tenure in Afghanistan in the Post-Taliban Era

African and Asian Studies, Vol. 6, 2007

31 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2006


This paper presents hitherto unavailable information about the farm land tenure structure of Afghanistan after more than two decades of civil war and the downfall of the Taliban regime, based on recent countrywide surveys plus other relevant sources.

About 1.28 million farms with arable land were estimated to exist in the country; the mean holding of arable land per farm was about 5 Ha. About 73% of farms were below 5 Ha and the top 5.4% of farms with size exceeding 20 Ha controlled 30% of irrigated land and 46% of rain-fed land, suggesting significant though not extreme concentration of farm sizes. Tenancy is not dominant, as most farms are run by their owners. Only 11% of irrigated land and 3% of rain-fed land is cropped by tenants. Only 10% of farmers in 2002 had mortgaged about 3% of the arable land, and their number was reduced to only 1% of farmers by 2005. Most tenants have also land of their own. Data do not substantiate the idea of high and increasing farm size inequality or concentration of land ownership, at least as regards arable land. This paper does not deal, however, with public or communal grassland, which has been the object of some disputes and land grabbing in recent times.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Agriculture, Land tenure, Agrarian structure

JEL Classification: Q15

Suggested Citation

Maletta, Hector E., Arable Land Tenure in Afghanistan in the Post-Taliban Era. African and Asian Studies, Vol. 6, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Hector E. Maletta (Contact Author)

Universidad del Pacífico ( email )

Av Salaverry 2020
Lima, 11

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