Base de Datos Género y Derecho a la Tierra


Tenencia de la tierra- formas predominantes

- Land tenure in the country takes three forms: i. ownership: holder and owner are the same person; ii. rent, cash or in-kind: the holder is not the same person as the owner and iii. mixed holding, where the holder is the owner of one part of the land holding and the tenant the other part, that it, both of them have the ownership as well as the utilization rights for one part of it but only the utilization right for its other part.
- Rental may take place according to two different modes:
i. Cash rental: The landlord and the tenant, being the two parties of a contract, agree that the second party pays the first party at a fixed time a certain amount of money as a rental for the area of land for which the contract has been issued. Cash rental is the most common mode of land rent.
ii. In-kind rent: The landlord agrees with the tenant to pay a fixed portion or a percentage of the crop after it reaches maturity (11).
- Islamic land tenure conceptions persist: the distinction between the land itself and its usufruct, the principle that ownership of land lies with God but is held in trust by the State for the community of Muslims still underpins categories of land which are utilised today (21). The “web of tenancy” is used to denote the multiple interrelated tenancy relationships in which the landholder accesses land through combinations of more than one pattern. The confluence of Islamic principles, Ottoman law, colonial interventions, custom and unofficial norms may not merely have led to a “web of tenancy” in some households, but a broader “tenure web”. There exists no clean patterns or neat categories, but multiple combinations of relations which give access to land. Islamic law provides women with substantial rights to acquire, manage and alienate property (21).
- In 1995, men comprised about 86 percent of land owners, while only 14 percent were women. The largest portion of female holders, 12 percent, falls within the category of less than one feddan. The percentage takes a downward trend as the area occupied by the holding increases. Female holders constitute six percent of the total number of holders in the category of 10 feddans, contrary to male holders whose percentage increases within each area category simultaneously with the area of the holding (11).

- According to the last 1990 Agricultural Census, nearly 96 percent of holdings are less than 2.1 hectares large; 50 percent less than 0,42 hectares. Some 96 percent of small farmers hold 56 percent of the total arable land. Agricultural land is generally privately owned, and an estimated 420 000 hectares are new lands that are owned and managed by both the public and private sectors. The government is in the process of selling additional new land areas to private farmers and investors. However, it is estimated that of the total area of old land, 58 percent is owner-occupied, while 42 percent is operated under a lease. Of the total area leased, 82 percent is in cash and 18 percent is under crop-share leases (13).
- Law 96 of 1992 revoked Agrarian Reform Law No. 178 of 1952 that had given tenants security of tenure and legalized the right to inherit tenancy agreements.
The law was fully implemented in 1997 after a five-year transition period. Contracts during the transition were intended to remain valid so rights to land could still be inherited but the rent after 1992 was increased from seven to at least 22 times the land tax.  After 1 October 1997, all landowners could take back their land and charge tenants market-based rent, which in some cases increased of 300-400 percent, depending on location and productivity.
Tenancies became annual contracts renewed at the landowners’ discretion. Landowners can dispose of their land without notifying tenants, who might have been farming the same plot for 40 years. Rents in many locations by 1997 had increased to LE 2 500 per feddan (12).

Fuentes: los números entre paréntesis (*) se refieren a las fuentes que están en la sección de Bibliografía