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Rural Development Division

Research, Extension and Training Division

Gender and Population Division



SDA, Rural Development Division

Strengthening institutions & ensuring access to land and associated resources

FAO stresses the importance of the role of institutions in ensuring food security, combating poverty and promoting the development of human and natural resources. The Rural Development Division has been undertaking activities to assist FAO Member Nations in restructuring their rural institutions and in identifying and preparing projects on "Land tenure institution building for food security and sustainable rural development" and "Improved rural institutions and services to promote sustainable rural livelihoods".

The Rural Development Division supports countries in developing and adopting policies, programmes, best practices and tools for land tenure to facilitate access to land, ensure user rights and improve land markets.

Assistance is also provided in identifying and preparing projects on improving rural institutions and services and promotion of sustainable rural livelihoods. The Division provides support on:

  • restructuring and decentralization of rural institutions;
  • capacity building of small farmers' organizations;
  • institutional mechanisms for multistakeholder dialogue and collaboration.

The Rural Development Division consists of two services:

  • Land Tenure Service
  • Rural Institutions and Participation Service

In the area of land tenure and settlement, the Land Tenure Service analyses tenure arrangements, land administration and settlement design. It advises on land markets and transfers, tenure regularization, land information systems and conveyancing institutions.

The Rural Institutions and Participation Service analyses the causes of poverty and helps design policies and institutional arrangements that increase the rural poor's access to employment, resources and services. It produces guidelines for policy-makers and encourages networking of rural development institutions.

It actively fosters people's participation in socio-economic development, for example, through pilot projects that help create or strengthen autonomous rural people's organizations.

Parviz Koohafkan
Director, Rural Development Division
Telephone: +39 06 570 53843
Fax: +39 06 570 53250

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