Women with secure land rights are often in a better position to save money and ensure that more of their household’s finances are used for nutrition, education, and health.
“Rural women in particular are at the strategic center of reducing hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, as they play a central role in household food security, dietary diversity, and children’s health."
Children whose mothers have secure land rights are less likely to be malnourished.
For example, in Nepal, children whose mothers own land were up to 33% less likely to be severely underweight.
Children whose mothers have secure land rights often have better educational outcomes.
"Data from Central America indicate that an increase in female landholdings is associated with increases in household food expenditure and levels of child educational attainment."
Smallholder farmers with secure land rights are more likely to make long-term investments in their land, such as using high-quality seeds and fertilizers to improve their harvests and their lives.
“Secure land tenure enables farmers to invest in long-term improvements to their farms and soils in the expectation that they will reap the benefits of those investments without fear that their land be confiscated arbitrarily.”
Families with secure land rights can build sturdy and permanent housing.
In many countries, a fear that one’s home may be abruptly taken is the biggest barrier to making improvements in housing.
Secure rights to land are often critical for access to water.
“In many jurisdictions, water rights have for a long time been considered as a subsidiary component of land tenure rights, a right to use water often being dependent on the existence of a land tenure right.”
Families with secure rights to land are recognized as permanent and legally documented residents, which can prompt the government to provide access to sanitation and electricity.
“Access to … basic services such as sanitation and electricity is often conditioned by access to rights in land.”
Smallholder farmers with secure land rights are more likely to engage in soil conservation.
In Ethiopia, for example, farmers with secure rights to land were 60% more likely to invest in soil erosion prevention.
Smallholder farmers with secure land rights are more likely to plant trees.
In Ghana, for example, smallholder farmers with strong land rights were 39% more likely to plant trees.
Families with secure land rights have the space and ability to support livestock and home businesses.
“Equitable and secure access to land is a critical factor for the rural poor, especially livestock owners, who depend on agriculture and animal-related activities for their livelihood.”
Smallholder farmers with secure rights to land can access government agriculture extension, financial and other services.
“Without secure land rights, farmers have little or no access to credit or the benefits of membership in rural organizations which are often conduits of agricultural inputs and services.”
For more information about the transformative power of land rights visit Landesa.org
Produced by SwitchYard Media