Secure access to land is fundamental to rural livelihoods as it provides a source of food and income as well as shelter and reduces vulnerability to hunger and poverty. LIFT is supporting the registration and distribution of over 14 million land certificates recognising the rights of all legal landholders, through its second level land certification (SLLC) process. This makes it one of the largest land registration programmes in the world and a global leader in large-scale land registration.
Women and vulnerable groups face a myriad of barriers to protecting their land rights. These stem from interrelated factors such as cultural norms and perceptions, low levels of literacy and awareness of their rights, and weak standing in power dynamics with elites who use fraud and deceptive practices to undermine their access and control over land. LIFT aims to focus on addressing the barriers women and vulnerable groups face in ensuring their land rights are secure.
Central to any land registration programme is long-term vision and planning as land information quickly goes out of date. LIFT is working with the Government of Ethiopia to implement an improved rural land administration system (RLAS) and processes in over 140 woredas where SLLC has taken place, so that all subsequent land rights transfers within and between households can be registered and guarantee that the tenure rights of the individuals involved in these transfers are maintained.
Access to finance is key to landholders being able to invest in improved agricultural inputs to increase their agricultural production. With Second Level Land Certification (SLLC), MFIs have the security of knowing the landholder and exact landholding size. This has allowed the development of an innovative individual lending product that uses the produce of the land as a form of guarantee that allows rural farmers in Ethiopia to invest in productive agriculture.
A well-functioning rural land rental system allows landholders who are unable to farm their land, to rent their land as a source of income, as well as increasing the productivity and income of households renting the land. LIFT is working on several initiatives to improve landholders’ ability to rent out or rent in land based on their needs, improve their knowledge of rental prices, and ensure that rental agreements protect the rights of both landholder and tenant.
Environmentally sustainable land management practices and inputs are key to ensuring land provides the necessary produce to households in a sustainable manner. With Second Level Land Certification (SLLC) and resulting tenure security as well as farmers’ willingness to invest in their land. LIFT aims to ensure farmers can access improved agricultural inputs and technologies that are environmentally sustainable.