Gender and Land Rights Database


Prevailing systems of land tenure

 - Land ownership can take the following forms, as provided by Article 13 of the Constitution: i. State ownership ii. Co-operative ownership and iii. Private ownership (16).

- In 1996, out of 17 828 201 total holdings, 66 percent were owned or in owner-like possess; 10 percent were rented from others; and 24 percent were under more than one form of tenancy (24).

- Sharecroppingbarga – is the only admissible form of tenancy contract under the 1984 Land Reform Ordinance. Barga is the tenancy agreement by which a farmer cultivates the land of another farmer on a crop-sharing basis. The owner in most cases does not invest anything but gets a 50-percent share of the produce. The share-cropper invests his labour, seed, water and fertilizer to get the other 50 percent of the crop. In case of crop failure, the bargador or tenant loses everything (20).

- Khas land is unoccupied land that is legally owned by the Government and managed by the Ministry of Land State land. It is land which is legally reserved for distribution to landless households.

Khas lands are: i. lands already possessed by the Government; ii. lands accredited from the sea or rivers; iii. lands vested in the Government as ceiling surplus; iv. lands purchased by the Government in auction sales; v. lands from miscellaneous sources such as surrendered, abandoned or confiscated land.

In assigning Khas land, the Ministry shall give priority to the following people: flooded tenants’ families; widowed or divorced women; families without a homestead or agricultural land; landless families with homestead land only; families with homestead land and less than 0.5 acres agricultural land (14).

- In 2005, rural holdings totalled 24 562 900, of which 59.18 percent were farm holdings. The average owned area per holding was 0.90 acres. Ten percent of the rural population was landless (25).

Sources: numbers in brackets (*) refer to sources displayed in the Bibliography