Sustainable Development Banner
Institutions1 banner


Land tenure

Public institutions

Rural organizations







SD home
About SD

January 2005

Announcement of a new publication

Leasing agricultural land

FAO Land Tenure Notes 1

Land is one of the most important assets of a farmer, providing food for the family while surplus yields can be used to earn extra income. For many farmers, leasing of land is a fact of life. For those with no land or insufficient land for their needs, acquiring land through leasing goes a long way to determining their future security. For land owners, extra income or produce can be acquired by leasing land to others in exchange for cash or a portion of the harvest.

At the core of most of these land-leasing arrangements are three issues shared by tenant and land owner alike: risk, security and trust. The success of the land owner-tenant relationship depends on the level of trust that can be established between them. And a proper agreement can lay the groundwork for such trust - through flexibility for the land owner and security for the tenant. In this way, many potential problems or disputes can be avoided.

  • What are leases?
  • When should they be used?
  • What needs to be done to create a lease?
  • What information should be included in a lease?

This guide attempts to answer these questions in a simple and straightforward way. It assumes that arrangements can be made that balance the interests of the tenant and the land owner, leading to improved access to farms, better agricultural production and greater food security.

(Also available in French and Spanish)

Click here to view the document (html format) or here for pdf format.

For related information, please see:

SD Homepage Back to Top FAO Homepage