Reforming Land Rights: The World Bank and the Globalisation of Agriculture

January 2005
Elizabeth Fortin (IDS, Sussex)

Includes globalisation and agriculture – policies and effects in sub-Saharan Africa; globalisation of agriculture and land; land reform in Southern Africa and the World Bank; World Bank critique – tenure security, land transactions, redistribution. Analyses the World Bank’s policy position on land reform and argues that its approach does not address the structural reasons for the distortions of landholdings in Southern Africa and that such inequality is likely to be reaffirmed and reproduced by the Bank’s proposals. Further argues that the model of market-based land redistribution favoured by the Bank will be insufficient to dissipate the pressures of ever-growing inequality. With considerations of efficiency given prominence over other concerns, concludes that the Bank’s policies are unlikely to meet its overarching goals of poverty reduction and growth.