Land Documentation for Financial Inclusion Brief

The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program has supported customary land documentation in the Eastern Province of Zambia in nine chiefdoms in Chipata and Petauke Districts, covering 30,000 parcels of land. The program promotes gender integration in the land documentation process and ensures that women’s land rights are registered and their interests and priorities are addressed. Land is the main asset for the rural poor who depend on agriculture-based livelihoods, and as such, documentation provides individuals with more secure tenure rights, reducing potential disputes and increasing the incentive to invest in their plots without fear of eviction. While customary land in Zambia cannot be used as collateral, documentation can increase people’s confidence that they will be able to collect their harvest at the end of the year and hence have access to income, which can enhance their financial security.