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Land tool development in Ghana: building on local aspirations and innovation

By: Mark Kakraba-Ampeh, Eric Yeboah, Richard Owusu Asara, Belinda Oppong-Konadu

This brief prepared by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) profiles three tools implemented in the southern cocoa-growing regions of Ghana to define and secure local land rights. Traditional tenure arrangements and sharecropping agreements in southern Ghana are frequently beset by a lack of clarity regarding boundaries between landholdings and rights of use and access. IIED’s practical and cost-saving tools (community-based surveying, tenancy agreement templates, and spousal transfer agreements) aimed to clarify existing land rights and to effectively resolve outstanding land-related disputes. Careful deliberation, consultation, and participation of local communities were integrated into each tool: local para-surveyors were trained as part of the surveying process; tenancy agreement templates were developed through open dialogue with communities; and spousal transfer agreements stimulated debate and engagement from local community members.

Keywords: land tenure, land tools, gender, sharecropping, customary land tenure.