Mali Land Tenure Assessment Report

The USAID mission to Mali requested a summary review of the evolution of land tenure policies of the Republic of Mali. A two-person team carried out a literature review and short field visit to Mali in May 2010, under the auspices of USAID’s Property Rights and Resource Governance Program (PRRGP). The resulting study suggests that the relationship in Mali between land tenure and food security is strong. In principle, land tenure security—the expectation that land rights will be respected—should encourage increased investment in agricultural production. In turn, this will contribute to improved income levels from the sale of surplus production, job creation in the agricultural and ancillary sectors, enhanced income opportunities along the extended value chain, and expanded trade opportunities. In the longer term, increased production and income improves food security by expanding both availability and access to food. Unfortunately, the lack of land tenure security in Mali limits the willingness of small-scale producers and agro-investors to invest in expanding and intensifying agricultural production. The Government of Mali is making strides to increase tenure security through new public policies of decentralization and devolution of authority to control and manage land and other natural resources. In the long term, this should increase the country’s capacity to ensure household and national food security.

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