Land tenure Institutions

Posted September 1999

Preface and Table of contents

Guidelines for Agrarian Systems Diagnosis

Land Tenure Service
Rural Development Division
Sustainable Development Department
Food and Agriculture Organization

Rome, Italy
August 1999


The full document is available for downloading as a Word97 file (zipped, 331K). See also: A brief on Agrarian systems diagnosis (ASD)

Foreword

Guía para el Diagnóstico de Sistemas Agrarios

Los programas de reforma agraria son complejos, planificados e implementados en ambientes sociales y culturales muy distintos. Su propósito es de modificar la propiedad y la gestión de la tierra, racionalizar la producción y establecer un mejor equilibrio entre agricultura y los demás sectores de la economía. Aún cuando centrar la atención entorno a la administración de tierras sea importante es, sin embargo, demasiado limitado para los requerimientos de un desarrollo sostenible. Es por eso que los nuevos enfoques para la reforma agraria deben ser siempre más multidimensionales.

Estos nuevos enfoques deben brindarle nueva atención a palabras que venimos usando desde hace buen tiempo, tales como diversidad, participación y "de abajo para arriba". Esto implica un estilo de desarrollo distinto, endógeno y autosostenible, dirigido al corazón de cada sociedad y que tiene sentido sólo cuando se ha arraigado a nivel local en la "praxis" de cada comunidad de actores.

El Departamento de Desarrollo Sostenible ha trabajado duro para integrar herramientas de comunicación dentro de los métodos de diagnóstico rápido participativo. Con este libro, Guía para el Diagnóstico de Sistemas Agrarios, la FAO quiere ofrecer una contribución adicional desde el punto de vista del Servicio de tenencia de la tierra.

This publication on Agrarian Systems Diagnosis represents the result of an effort done by the Land Tenure Service (SDAA) of the Rural Development Division of FAO in cooperation with several institutions, and field projects.

It describes and summarizes SDAA's experiences in developing and applying a holistic approach to land tenure dynamics in rural areas. It also presents both the conceptual elements as well as practical methodological proposals for operationalizing agrarian systems diagnosis. The examples presented are drawn from concrete experiences in which the Service has been and still is presently involved.

This publication was prepared by Paolo Groppo, Christopher Tanner, and Michel Merlet, who are, respectively, Land Tenure Systems Analysis Officer at the Land Tenure Service (SDAA), Land Tenure Consultant at Cambridge SEPR Associates, 28 Houghton Road, St Ives, Cambridge, England and Agrarian Reform Consultant at IRAM, 39 rue de la Glacière, 75013 Paris, France.

We are grateful to many colleagues from FAO as well as to institutes and individuals from outside FAO who have participated in the process of developing the philosophy that underlines this handbook. Special thanks go to Prof. Marcel Mazoyer and Prof. Marc Dufumier from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon, France (http://www.inapg.inra.fr/ens_rech/ses/index.htm) who have been developing the main theory on the evolution of, and difference between agrarian systems. Thanks to their work, future decisions for technical cooperation activities involving land tenure in developing countries will be better informed, more effective and more helpful to those making their living from food production.

What this handook is for

This handbook is based on worldwide experience and uses knowledge obtained from both failures and successes. Its main objectives are:
  1. To demonstrate the interest of a system approach for the formulation of land regularization policies.
  2. To contribute towards the improvement of land tenure policies through
  3. To help national experts involved in land tenure issues to define their own methodological guidelines.

This Handbook is not a comparative analysis of different systems methods, nor is it a theoretical investigation on agrarian system approaches. Many rapid appraisal methods share similar global objectives and principles, and different methodological frameworks can be used. The Handbook does not intend to provide you with an overall view of these methods.

Instead, the Handbook is first and foremost an educational instrument for readers looking for new, efficient and adapted methods and tools. It aims to obtain immediate results by offering a tried and tested methodology for immediate field use. The Handbook offers practical tools developed all over the world in FAO projects and used by other development agencies during the last 15 years. It should also contribute however to improved investigation and development skills amongst those carrying out field studies. This is even more important because it is also a self-training process for those carrying out the project.

The target audience includes development technicians working in national Institutions in charge of agrarian reform and land settlement, NGO field experts, and development managers. It also aims to help technicians and consultants who have been working on development issues, to carry out land tenure studies and propose policies to improve land tenure.

How to Use the Handbook

These guidelines are written as a handbook containing brief explanations on methods in everyday language. Technical words and concepts are used only where absolutely necessary. With boxes on specific topics, the handbook offers distinctive illustrations of those methods and tools, in concrete situations where land studies have been based on Agrarian Systems Diagnosis. The handbook also serves as a reference work. A list of main publications related to the different schools of system approach is presented. This list provides complementary sources of information for each of the specific topic illustrated in the handbook.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

I. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
    1. Land Tenure and Agricultural Production: A functional Definition of Agriculture
    2. Historical and Geographical Differences in Land Access Systems
    3. A Bottom-up Approach: Opting for Family Farming
    4. A Systems Based Approach
    5. Different Levels of Analysis and Inter-Relationships: Corresponding Concepts

II. AGRARIAN SYSTEMS DIAGNOSIS
    1. THE MAIN UNIT OF ANALYSIS: THE FARM HOUSEHOLD IN CONTEXT
       1.1 Defining the FHS
       1.2 Gender issues and social categories

    2. CHARACTERISTICS OF FAMILY FARMS
       2.1 Risks management at the farm level
       2.2 The Invisibility of Women
       2.3 The Family Reproduction Cycle
       2.4 Relationships between individuals, farm-households, and the rural community

    3. A BASIC HYPOTHESIS: THE FARM-HOUSEHOLD RATIONALITY

    4. THE FRAMEWORK OF THE ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
       4.1 The theory of the ordinary farm
       4.2 Designing an economic model of a household
       4.3 Reproduction and accumulation thresholds
       4.4 Modeling: a proposal

    5. THE DIFFERENT STEPS OF THE PROPOSED METHOD AND ITS TOOLS
       5.1 Zoning
       5.2 Selecting the Sample
       5.3 Carrying out an In-Depth Farm Household Survey
         Different Phases of a Detailed Farm Household Survey
           Phase A: Preparation Survey
           Phase B: Informing the Farmers Survey
           Phase C: Life history and inventory of household members and resources Survey
           Phase D: Initial Consolidation of Data Survey
           Phase E: Second Farm Visit and Visits to Different Fields Survey
           Phase F: Second Data Consolidation, Production System Survey
           Coherence Assessment, and Preliminary Data Analysis Survey
           Phases G and H: Validation and consensus with the community and fine-tuning of the proposals

    6. LIMITATIONS OF THE APPROACH

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Additional bibliography


  • Download: Guidelines for Agrarian Systems Diagnosis (Word97 format, zipped, 510K)



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