Research/academic paper

Land Tenure Insecurity, Fragmentation and Crop Choice: Evidence from Uganda

This study uses household-, parcel- and plot-level data to analyse the effect of land tenure insecurity and land fragmentation on crop choice. We use formal land titling as a proxy for de jure land rights, and the perceived transfer rights over parcels as a proxy for de facto land rights. Using a two-part model, the study shows that both de jure and de facto land rights significantly increase the likelihood of planting perennial commercial crops, and also increase the hectares allocated to commercial crops. The results also show that when the rights to land are weak (i.e., no land titling and no transfer rights), farmers tend to grow annual crops. Land fragmentation affects more the choice of, and land allocation to, perennial crops than it does for other crop categories. Overall, the results suggest that there is a need for policies and laws that strengthen land tenure security, either through formal land titling or strengthening informal land rights, to promote the production of perennial and other commercial crops.