Secure access to land is fundamental to the livelihoods of rural households. It provides a source of food and income through agricultural production, as well as shelter and protection from vulnerability to hunger and poverty. Competition for land often inflames tensions between different landholders. This, coupled with unreliable information on a household’s land holding, can result in conflict and a lack of incentive to invest in on-farm activities.
The LIFT approach
LIFT is a £72.7 million programme funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) that operates in four regions of Ethiopia: Amhara, Oromia, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) and Tigray. LIFT is based on the principle that if landholders have security of tenure, then they are more likely to invest in their land and agricultural practices and improve the quality of their produce. As a result, their income will rise.
To achieve this, LIFT is supporting the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts on increasing rural land tenure security. This is done through land certification and developing improved rural land administration systems, to drive investment and increase productive land use. LIFT is unique in its approach as it also champions a market systems approach to catalyse household tenure security, leading to investment and improved land productivity and income. This is a first for a land reform programme on this scale.