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Issues of land tenure and food security: the case of three communities of Munessa wereda, south-central Ethiopia

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The study attempts to understand how access to land affects household food security in the context of farm households in three communities of Munessa wereda. Field research was conducted to generate primary data by employing key informant interviews, household case studies and focus group discussion. Current landholding distribution has led to a widening gap between rich and poor in terms of household livelihood and food security. Households with relatively large landholdings are found to be better off in terms of endowment of other resources, and as a result, they are less affected by food insecurity. In contrast, the landless households' possession of other resources has partly been eroded by sharecropping and hiring land, as well as having to purchase food during shortage periods. Thus, the landless are those most vulnerable to shocks of food shortages. Two options are suggested as ways to improve the food security status of the landless and land-poor farmers. The first is to give them access to land, and secure their use rights by implementing a land redistribution policy. The second is to enable the landless to engage in viable non-farm employment opportunities.
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Keywords: food security; land redistribution; land tenure; landless

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

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