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Land ownership and economic self-sufficiency

How to help sustainable economic development based on land ownership

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

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In Milo's inspiration on the economy of Caldas, I was struck by a comment about inequality about land ownership. The report presented was saying that most of the land was in the hands of only a few and this was pinned as a major cause of poverty in South America:
" 2009, Colombian landowners who possessed more than 200 acres were only a 3,8% of the total number of landowners registered. However, this small 4% owned 41% of the Colombian lands dedicated to agriculture and livestock. On the other side, Colombian land owners who possessed less than 3 acres were 39,3% of the total, and affirmed to owned just a 3,7% of the total of land."

I found this Agros International which has developed a series of project in South America with the mission to "to see rural poor families in developing nations own agricultural land, attain economic self-sufficiency, cultivate a livelihood and pass on to future generations the values and resources that enable them to flourish. " They claim they have developed "over 40 economically sustainable villages built on the foundation of land permanence and ownership for the rural poor. "
I thought that maybe to think about social business opportunities, we should also think of some of the  condition of such businesses. Land ownership and the social structure it implies might be something to tackle upfront. 
http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-sustainability-for-farmers-of-latin-america/team/

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DeletedUser

I agree with you completely! In Caldas most of the land is also used for raising livestock, which of course, needs a great investment in capital. From you can conclude that poor don't have access to using land. I was wondering, do you know if Agros helps them buy land in the first place? Or do they work with existing villages? Maybe this is done with the organization's own resources. Thanks a lot for your post! :)

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DeletedUser

I'm sorry to let my mind graze too freely...but, is there any way, we can have a pay per use model for land usage? what do you reckon?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi, thanks for sharing. I'm not sure if it is "economically feasible" but I'm not an economist. Have you heard of similar model? How do you define the land usage? Is the situation you're envisioning the following: farmers will "rent" a certain square meters surface of land for a "season" and once the harvest is done, farmers can choose to rent again a certain surface? thanks, al

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DeletedUser

Anne, that was just a vague idea at quarter to 4 in the morning!

But, i like your concept, farmers could use the land for the right season, another farmer might use it next to grow an intermediate crop ( between 2 full fledged crops, i dont remember what it is called). The land owner could cease renting for a while to condition the soil perhaps...

Sounds really interesting to me though. Should probably think about it after sleep

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

I was trying to figure out what land per use could mean. I am not sure it makes sense. Let's see what you think once you have slept. :-)
Are you talking of "fallow land"?...

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DeletedUser

What land per use are you talking about? and not fallow land. Let me give you an example of what happens in our family farm, We harvest rice, then our farmer grows vegetables or pulses before he sows the next round of rice. Do you get what i mean?

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi,

let me clarify a bit. It seems I typed too fast this morning :-(
1. Sorry I meant "pay per use" and not land per use...
2. Fallow land (cropland that is not seeded for a season; it may or may not be plowed: I was referring to your point "between 2 full fledged crops, I don't remember what it is called"....
3. I understand what you mean... thanks for the clarification and example. It helped.

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