Land Policy and Farming Practices in Laos | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
December 2005
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The government of Laos has identified the eradication of poverty as a priority. Given the primarily agricultural character of the country, it has selected land reform as a core policy to reach this goal. The policy has two major aims: to increase land tenure security in order to encourage farmer involvement in intensive farming, and to eliminate slash-and-burn agriculture to protect the environment in a country still rich in forest resources. State intervention takes the form of land allocation, a process which combines the protection of some areas of village land with the formal recognition of private ownership in authorized farming areas. In a country with different types of geography, the effects of the policy are variable, but the research presented in this article demonstrates that the land laws have shortcomings which allow for differing interpretations depending on the local social relationships. Since local specificities are not taken into account, the reform is proving counterproductive for both forest protection and agricultural modernization, as well as having a negative social impact by marginalizing the poorest farmers.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Ducourtieux, Olivier
Laffort, Jean-richard
Sacklokham, Silinthone

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The purpose of the Mekong Land Research Forum online site is to provide structured access to published and unpublished research on land issues in the Mekong Region. It is based on the premise that debates and decisions around land governance can be enhanced by drawing on the considerable volume of research, documented experience and action-based reflection that is available.

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