Policy brief

Formalising land rental improves productivity and benefits vulnerable farmers

Adopting a market systems approach for a land tenure programme

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Land Investment for Transformation (LIFT) programme works with the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) to deliver second level land certification (SLLC) to smallholder farmers.

The LIFT programme's Economic Empowerment Unit (EEU) applies the market systems approach to a land certification programme. 

Land is still the most important asset for the rural poor in Ethiopia, so unlocking its potential is essential for reducing poverty and increasing food security

LIFT identified key market constraints, including: low tenure security in informal rental agreements; a high risk of disputes, to the disadvantage of landholders, who are typically more vulnerable; and a lack of market information for both landholder and tenants on prices and available land. To address these constraints, two key innovations were designed and introduced to Ethiopia’s rural land rental market:

  • the standard land rental contract (SLRC)
  • land rental service providers (LRSPs)

These interventions are expected to give farmers more security of tenure and better access to market information.