Rwanda has implemented both massive land reform, registering 10.3 million parcels of land, and ambitious agricultural reforms.  Those policies are credited with significantly increasing the productivity of several priority crops.  In addition, the proportion of children who are stunted due to under-nutrition has begun to decline. However, some of those same policies restrict aspects of farmer’s land rights, including their rights to use and benefit from the land in ways that they see fit, with potentiallys serious consequences.

The author describes, policy restrictions on land use rights may lessen the ability of farmers and rural communities to respond to market problems and to adapt to climate change. In addition, farmers’ failure to follow official policies can be met with fines, uprooting of crops, and detention. 

In this brief, find out about:

  • The role of  the full “bundle of land rights,” which extends well beyond ownership rights
  • How Rwanda’s Regional Crop Specialization Policy and Crop Intensification Programme work
  • The impact of land use consolidation, including on farmers’ resilience to climate change
  • The government’s broader “target-driven” approach to agricultural reform

Download full brief by Chris Huggins from panel at right.



Chris Huggins is a specialist in land tenure and related issues in Africa, and is co-author with Scott Leckie of Housing, Land, and Property Rights and Conflict: A Handbook on Issues, Frameworks and Solutions (Cambridge University Press, 2011).