Till to tiller:
Linkages Between International Remittances and Access to Land in West Africa
Lorenzo Cotula and Camilla Toulmin
Cover: FAO photo
Livelihood Support Programme (LSP)
This paper was prepared for FAOs Land Tenure Service and Sub-programme 3.1 (Access to natural resources) of the Livelihood Support Programme. Funding was also provided to IIED by SIDA.
The Livelihood Support Programme
The Livelihood Support Programme (LSP) evolved from the belief that FAO could have a greater impact on reducing poverty and food insecurity, if its wealth of talent and experience were integrated into a more flexible and demand-responsive team approach.
The LSP, which is executed by FAO with funding provided by DfID, works through teams of FAO staff members who are attracted to specific themes being worked on in a sustainable livelihoods context. These cross-departmental and cross-disciplinary teams act to integrate sustainable livelihoods principles in FAOs work, at headquarters and in the field. These approaches build on experiences within FAO and other development agencies.
The programme is functioning as a testing ground for both team approaches and sustainable livelihoods principles.
Access to natural resources sub-programme
Access by the poor to natural resources (land, forests, water, fisheries, pastures, etc.), is essential for sustainable poverty reduction. The livelihoods of rural people without access, or with very limited access to natural resources are vulnerable because they have difficulty in obtaining food, accumulating other assets, and recuperating after natural or market shocks or misfortunes.
The main goal of this sub-programme is to build stakeholder capacity to improve poor peoples access to natural resources through the application of sustainable livelihood approaches. The sub-programme is working in the following thematic areas:
1. Sustainable livelihood approaches in the context of access to different natural resources
2. Access to natural resources and making rights real
3. Livelihoods and access to natural resources in a rapidly changing world
This paper contributes to the third thematic area by exploring the role that remittances play regarding access to land and other natural resources. The paper helps to address the fact that despite extensive work on both migration and development, the links between the two remain little understood by policy makers and development practitioners, and little is known of the factors and policies that can help maximize social and economic outcomes.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.2 Object and scope
1.5 Plan of the study
2. EXPLORING THE LINKAGES BETWEEN REMITTANCES AND ACCESS TO LAND: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Setting the scene
2.2 The great migration and development debate
Pessimists v optimists
Remittances - a relatively large and stable source of funding for developing countries
Remittances and development: macro, meso and micro level linkages
2.3 Remittances within household livelihood strategies
Households use of remittances: some caveats
Food, clothing, health care and education
Religious buildings and ceremonies
The dark side of remittances
2.4 Remittances and land: exploring the linkages
Looking beyond purchases
All is well that ends in wells?
Some thoughts on land use changes
Are stay-behinds left behind?
The impact of remittances on the land tenure system
2.5 Factors affecting remittance decisions
3.2 The field sites
Kër Momar Sarr
3.3 Migration between Senegal and France
Living in France
Return to Senegal... or not?
3.4 Remittances and livelihoods
Remittances and household livelihood strategies
Remittances and village associations
3.5 Remittances, access to land and agriculture
Land tenure in Senegal
Access to land for our respondents
The changing relationship with rural land
Obstacles to investment in rural land
4.2 Migrating from Ghana to the UK
A migrants life in London - networks and associations
4.3 Remittances and livelihoods
Remittances - how much?
And in what form?
4.4 Remittances and access to land
Land tenure and use in Ghana
Using remittances to improve access to land
Soaring land prices and access to land
Land use, tenure and disputes
5.1 To sum up
An important livelihood and development contribution
Remittances and access to land
5.2 Areas for further work
Remittances and diverse land access mechanisms
Remittances, access to land and agriculture
Policies and institutions to promote remittances and their best use
Remittances, land and decentralization
Working also in destination countries
ANNEX 1. PORTRAITS OF MIGRANTS
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE LSP
LSP WORKING PAPERS TO JULY 2004