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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Owing to increasing population pressure on limited cultivable land in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), farm size has been shrinking, fallow periods have been shortened, and soil fertility has been declining. In accordance with the Boserupian evolutionary theory and the Hayami–Ruttan-induced innovation theory, however, investments in land improvements have taken place, which leads to strengthened individual land rights and the intensification of farming systems in many other parts of SSA. Based on the literature review, this chapter argues that such evolutionary and spontaneous changes should be supported by means of technology development and dissemination, formalization of land rights, and improvement of access to agricultural markets.

Keywords: population pressure, soil degradation, investments in land improvement, strengthened individual land rights, agricultural intensification

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