Access to Land, Water and Other Resources

For the countries in which it is necessary to redistribute landed property, it is suggested that maximum ceilings for land be fixed by law. When distributing land, the weakest groups of the population should be taken into consideration in particular, and cooperatives should be established so that the desired improvements in productivity actually occur.

Rapid redistribution is the best protection against the reform being prevented. After redistribution has taken place, the associations protect the new farmers from landed property becoming concentrated once more and exploitation occurring again. For all the countries, tenancy and wage regulations are considered necessary. In order to do this, tenants should be registered; the governments should determine and enforce maximum land ceilings and control leasing, give the tenants access to loans and extension services, and encourage them to make investments. It is recommended that tenants associations control the measures implemented for improving the conditions of tenancy. Similarly, minimum wages should also be fixed for agricultural labourers and necessary measures introduced to protect them against exploitation.

In regions where land is owned communally, it is important to stop the trend of land being turned into private property in the hands of only a few people and especially safeguard the rights of small cultivators gall nomads. Existing systems which can fulfil the function of controlling the right of common usage of land and water should be maintained and developed. Grazing areas should be efficiently utilized in such a way that the yield remains in the hands of the herdsmen.

If the efficiency of the agricultural production is hindered by the farms being fractioned and parcelled into too small units, measures should be taken to amalgamate them. These should be combined with village and regional development measures in order to supply jobs to those who have been displaced. Collective forms of land use of greatly varying types can help to propagate the benefits drawn from the improvement of the infrastructure, research, employment, the supply of inputs, an increased capabilities.

The control and management of forest land, waste land, an water are to be regulated insuch a way that the public interest and especially environmental protection are upheld, while, at the same time, taking the legitimate interests of the local communities into consideration. The population should be made aware of the danger of erosion and informed about its control. The preservation of fishing grounds should be ensured by using them and maintaining them properly with the participation of local persons.

Wherever unutilized land is available, it should be used to settle people looking for land. By creating infrastructure and extension services, the governments should ensure the permanent success of such measures. Thereby, settlement projects should be regarded as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, measures of agrarian reform.

In some countries, there is considerable inequality among the various regions. The governments should help level out the differences between poor and rich, as well as between the regions with a good and a poor infrastructure by means of investment programmes. Within this framework, it is important that development programmes be drawn up for integrating towns and their rural environment.