Towards Responsible Consolidation of Customary Lands: A Research Synthesis

K.O. Asiama, R.M. Bennett, J.A. Zevenbergen

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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The use of land consolidation on customary lands has been limited, though land fragmentation persists. Land fragmentation on customary lands has two main causes—the nature of the customary land tenure system, and the somewhat linked agricultural system. Since attempts to increase food productivity on customary lands have involved fertilisation and mechanisation on the small and scattered farmlands, these approaches have fallen short of increasing food productivity. A study to develop a responsible approach to land consolidation on customary lands using a design research approach is undertaken and reported here. Based on a comparative study, it is found that three factors inhibit the development of a responsible land consolidation approach on customary lands—the coverage of a land administration system, a land valuation approach, and a land reallocation approach the fits the customary land tenure system. To fill these gaps, firstly, this study developed the participatory land administration that brought together traditional land administration approaches with emerging bottom-up approaches, as well as technological advances that drive these approaches together with the growing societal needs. Secondly, a valuation approach was developed to enable the comparison of the farmlands in rural areas that are without land markets. Finally, a land reallocation approach was developed based on the political, economic and social, as well as technical and legal characteristics of rural customary farmlands. This study concludes that though the land consolidation strategy developed is significantly able to reduce land fragmentation, both physical and land tenure, the local customs are an obstruction to the technical processes to achieve the best form of farmland structures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number161
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2019


  • land consolidation
  • food productivity
  • land tenure
  • land administration
  • land reallocation
  • land valuation
  • Land valuation
  • Land administration
  • Food productivity
  • Land tenure
  • Land reallocation
  • Land consolidation


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