FAO in Pakistan

Sindh Government Endorses a Provincial Strategy for Land Tenure Governance


Karachi – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the government of Sindh launched the ‘Strategy to Mainstream the Principles and Practices of Responsible Governance of Tenure in Legislation, Administration and Policies of the Land Sector in Sindh Province, Pakistan’ in Karachi today.  The provincial strategy is part of FAO’s project ‘Improved LAND Tenancy in Sindh’, funded by the European Union.  The four year project aims to improve land tenure governance in the province, while promoting the adoption of climate-resilient agriculture techniques. Government officials, members from UN agencies, academia, research, and development partners attended the launch.
Across Sindh, customary sharecropping arrangements on farms of various sizes have been challenged by weak governance of land tenure.  There are difficulties in updating agreements that reflect changed climatic conditions and advanced agriculture production systems. The provincial strategy will provide recommendations to the government on land tenure governance, helping to reduce poverty and ensure food security in Sindh.
The strategy is based on a series of studies, extensive consultations and analysis of the current land tenure situation in Sindh. It also draws on the principles and recommendations in the internationally recognised Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, that were agreed in 2012 by the Committee on World Food Security.
FAO’s Representative in Pakistan, Ms. Minà Dowlatchahi said, “This land tenure governance strategy for Sindh contains practical recommendations to help government promote secure tenure rights and equitable access to land and water as a means of eradicating hunger and poverty, supporting sustainable development, and protecting natural resources.” “Clear agreements between landowners and sharecroppers are a win-win solution for sustainable food and agriculture production systems,” she added.
Secretary Women’s Development Department, Ms. Aliya Shahid said, “This strategy reinforces the recent High Court decision on the situation of Haris in Sindh, and will provide a framework for government to undertake some difficult but necessary changes. I am particularly motivated about recommendations to clearly acknowledge the rights of women farmers and their role in food production in the province”.
The endorsement workshop was planned as an outcome of the first ‘Improved Land Tenancy in Sindh’ Project Steering Committee meeting on 29 July 2019. The project has had considerable success to date with its innovative approach of brokering written version of customary agreements while training both landowners and tenants on better farming methods and approaches for dealing with water scarcity.
FAO Policy Officer, Ms. Genevieve Hussain, reiterated that “the strategy, when implemented, would contribute to enhanced agricultural production, food security, improved social well-being, and greater transparency and efficiency in land use in the Sindh province, helping to overcome food insecurity and malnutrition, with long term stability”.
Participants in the endorsement workshop were provided details of 22 recommendations for the government aimed at improving policies, laws, and administration related to land access and tenure security in Sindh.