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The present volume is part of a series of Land Tenure Studies produced by FAO since 1951. Land tenure plays a vital role in achieving sustainable rural development. Increasing technological change and economic integration are requiring policy makers, planners, development experts and rural producers to re-examine the institutional arrangements used to administer who has rights to what resources for which purposes and for how long. Some studies in this series aim to clarify issues in the complicated and controversial subject of land reform. Others provide those working in agrarian programmes with guidance on methodology and the use of technical terms.

This volume belongs to the second group and sets out basic principles that govern temporal and partial interests in resources within modem rural economies. It brings together lessons learned from an extensive literature review plus experience gained in many years of observing agricultural leasing practice. The study was led by Mr. Simon Keith who was Senior Land Tenure Officer until his retirement. It forms part of the Land Tenure Service’s programme designed in response to FAO’s overall concern for food security and poverty alleviation. Member Nations are increasingly turning to modem land tenure systems to improve access to land by the poor (often women) who want to engage in agricultural pursuits and to redress cases where existing land tenure arrangements do not support sustainable land uses. Good land leasing practices can play an important role in modem land tenure systems. This book, like others in the series, does not seek to be exhaustive but rather reflects what FAO and its many international collaborators have discovered are “good practices” for a particular aspect of land administration. It is intended to be of use to FAO field officers, officers of Member Nations engaged in similar work, and ministers and other senior authorities responsible for framing agrarian policy. FAO’s Land Tenure Service looks forward to continuing collaboration with its larger audience.

Rodrigo Santa Cruz
Director, Rural Development Division

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