Land tenure security has little influence on the agricultural productivity of smallholder oil palm growers in Papua New Guinea

Curry, George, Koczberski, Gina, Roger, Douglas, Germis, Emmanuel, and Nelson, Paul (2013) Land tenure security has little influence on the agricultural productivity of smallholder oil palm growers in Papua New Guinea. In: Abstracts from the Institute of Australian Geographers Conference. p. 21. From: Institute of Australian Geographers Conference, 1-4 July 2013, Perth, WA, Australia.

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In agriculturally suitable areas of PNG there is a high demand for access to customary land by land-poor migrants from remote and poorly-serviced rural locations and by companies seeking to establish large-scale agricultural developments. Shortages of state land and land under freehold title mean that migrants and companies are entering into a range of agreements with customary landowners to access land. In PNG, as in most developing countries, there has been a significant push for the registration of customary land underpinned by the notion that successful development can only occur when people hold title to their land and are able to use these titles as collateral for bank loans. It is commonly assumed that without secure individual title to land, agricultural productivity will be low. We examine this argument through a study of smallholder oil palm productivity under three different tenure regimes in declining order of tenure security: smallholders with 99-year leases on state land (6-ha blocks); village oil palm growers using their own customary land (2-ha blocks); and migrant producers using informal arrangements with customary landowners (2-ha blocks). We show that there is little relationship between tenure security and productivity. We argue that new approaches to land tenure reform can be found that both meet the changing demands on customary land and move away from previous failed land reform initiatives based on the notion that secure individual property rights through land titling are a prerequisite for building a modern economy.

Item ID: 31550
Item Type: Conference Item (Abstract / Summary)
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 01:55
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160401 Economic Geography @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160804 Rural Sociology @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples Societies @ 20%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
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