Imagen de Christina Ketter

The land reform in Madagascar - a model for replication?

Dear Land Portal users,

The report with the findings of the IFAD/ FAO evaluation mission on the land reform in Madagascar was JUST published at the Land Portal!

During the Agricultural Knowledge Share Fair 2011, IFAD, the Observatoire du Foncier and ILC will have a session on experiences of the land reform in Madagascar and which key lessons can be transferred to other countries. We would like to start an online debate with the Land Portal Community.  The following key questions will also guide the session and your comments and questions will be integrated and discussed with the expert community on the spot. Fell free to comment and share your thoughts.

1.  Can the land reform in Madagascar be replicated in other countries? What would be the main elements of this experience which could be used in other contexts ? What would be the main constraints?

Est-ce que la réforme foncière de Madagascar peut être répliquée dans d’autres pays ? Quelles seraient les principaux éléments de cette expérience qui pourraient être transposés dans d’autres contextes ? Quelles seraient les principales contraintes?

2.  How can decentralised land administration systems, as in the case of Madagascar, be made sustainable and pro-poor?

Comment est-ce que des systèmes décentralisés d’administration foncière, comme dans le cas de Madagascar, peuvent être durables et être mis en œuvre en faveur des populations pauvres ?

3.  Is information on good (and bad) cases of land reform easily accessible and shared? How could the “Land Portal” facilitate the sharing of this information?

Est-ce que l’information sur les bonnes (et mauvaises) expériences de réformes foncières est facilement accessible et partagée ? Comment est-ce que le « Portail foncier » peut faciliter le partage de cette information?

Discussion threads during the actual event on the 29th of September (9:00 - 10:00, Rome time) will be twittered online, follow the Land Portal at Twitter and tweat your replies!

For a brief introduction to the topic find a 4:30 min movie on the stakeholders and different persective on the land reform in madagascar online (available only in French).


Imagen de Christina Ketter

NEW: Documentation of the

NEW: Documentation of the life session and a synosis of  the online dabate available HERE!

Imagen de Andrianirina - Ratsialonana

It seems there was a massive

It seems there was a massive assault from gender access activists in the last discussions. Which is a good thing but I would like to invite the current and the other participants also to address the other topics related to the land reform in Madagascar, which is broader than the gender issues! Back to the matter, let me bring up some facts, some were already posted by Mamy: 

- existing Malagasy laws (land and civil) are not excluding women from their rights.

- we all agree, in a relative way, that the numbers of land certificates (by the way, why only talking about land certificates, to make thinks equal why not talikng about land titles?) issued to joint couples or only women are far less than land certificates issued to the head of family (I prefer this term instead of “men”) only. The question is: what is the ideal expected ratio? In which proportion can we say that now the gender issues are really considered in Madagascar in terms of land security access?

- in my point of view, it is more about social and cultural issues, and the key point is about educating people. The missing link is the training and the education of Local Land offices agents, local recognition committee members, the local administration officers, the communities, etc. on the importance of the equality of rights. The question is “who should contribute to this education “? I think we should move on and bring the debate to this point, instead of conducting ten other studies on gender access. Should it be the role of civil society organizations, the role of the land reform implementors, NGOs, other contributors?

Imagen de Mamy Rakotondrainibe

I would like to add a few

I would like to add a few discussion points as a Malagasy woman interested in the Malagasy women rights improvement since years. There are still a lot to do concerning the gender topic improvement in Madagascar and there may be different points of view about how to manage it.

If the current situation is that too few women are participating in the decision sphere at a national level, the past history show that more than one vast region were led by well-known queens before the colonial period, some of them having shown a strong personality and even using violence to defend the Malagasy customs. Some women had led mixed armed people against colonizers. [ref to Dinika sy Rindra ho an’ny Vehivavy network documents]. Moreover, several books written by missionaries reported that, at the local level, the meetings about the citizen life gathered only men but men sometimes changed their mind and their decisions the day after, following discussions with the women at home.
Nowadays, this “hidden” influence and power of women are still alive in several regions, I have especially seen it in the central regions towns. In rural area in the south of Madagascar where the exclusive men meetings are still occurring; however various discrete ways are used to collect and consider the women opinions.

I mentioned these facts to stress that other aspects should be considered in addition to the statistical data that rise several questions: after 5 years of land reform implementation, which percentage should have been reached? And is our goal 40%, 50%, 60%, 90% - of land certificates at the women’s name? After how many years should it be achieved?

As the current Malagasy laws state that all goods acquired after the marriage belong to each of the couple members at 50%, - even when a land is certified only at the man’s name, as a Malagasy lawyer told me - I am afraid that “pushing” the married women to write the certificates at both names or at the woman’s name may disturb the family home peace or introduce suspicion, as described by one woman mentioned by Marit. There are really some cases of divorce in my close surroundings in Madagascar due to the fact that the lady has requested and been delivered a few land area titles at her own name,  lands being their only goods. The joint document is surely the best solution but it is not usual yet and we should look for the reasons of this situation, they might have no link with the land reform.

In a future survey, I would suggest to study in which extent a too strong incitation to make the women “still more powerful” inside the families had not already induced suspicion of men regarding the land certificates (bias introduced by researchers and activists through their questions, comments or recommendations about gender, for example). Too many bad experiments had indeed made the Malagasy populations suspicious and they are always watching at any “other” “hidden” objective of any new project. On another hand, women may not wish to get new responsibilities by having their names mentioned on the land certificates due to the numerous land conflicts existing in Madagascar due to the land documents general ‘bad’ management, as  mentioned in the FIDA-FAO report (even if the land certificates owners seem less involved in land conflicts handled by courts)

In summary, I totally agree that actions should be done and continued to improve Malagasy women rights by obtaining land certificates where they are mentioned, but the gender improvement actions should be done according to the principle of woman and man partnership. The decisions should take in account both spouses opinions and the social group majority ‘agreement to’ change. As it is not so easy and needs time, I find that 20% obtained by land reform in 5 years is not a so bad result. (And in the article mentioned, I do not understand that Ward Anseeuw and André Teyssier were writing that the land reform process have reinforced inequality between men and women).

During the next months, the two main issues in Madagascar are the government decision about the land reform continuation in the scope of decentralization (or not) and the solutions to the numerous evictions from lands of whole families that have neither certificates nor titles. So discussion about gender is not the first and immediate priority. The women rights defense should be done in the scope of the whole struggle against Malagasy poverty, not focused only in land certification which is a very sensitive topic.

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Thank you, Marit, for this

Thank you, Marit, for this detailed response.

Your data confirms how important it is to look at the certification process at the household level and not just in terms of the overall certificates issued. It also highlight very clearly that women are often in a situation where despite a legal provision or a concrete opportunity, in this case of registring a joint certificate, are not taking advantage of this because of the obstacles posed by social stigma.

The challenge is to find ways of encouraging joint certificates without creating controversy! As anyone working on gender issues can confirm, it takes a long time and continous emphasis on gender equality to change attitudes, and that applies to all levels, not just the household level.

When will you be publishing your full data set?

Imagen de Marit Widman

Some first comments on the

Some first comments on the gender issues:
I was part of the CSO study on gender this spring. When it comes to joint certificates, there is no information on the number of joint certificates collected at national level, it is necessary to check the registers at the guichet foncier level. I have numbers from the best performing LLOs in three different regions of the country available now and they all indicate the same tendency, that joint land certificates are very rare: in Soavinandriana 12 of 2,237 certificates; in Amparafaravola 2 of 1605 certificates; and in Antetezambaro 1 of 80 certificates are joint.
It seems as if the origin of the land to a large extent determines in whose name it is certified. When land is inherited or donated to one of the spouses it is registered in this person’s name, similarly for land that has been purchased individually. Some women use the possibility to certify inherited land in their name, while land that is purchased, or put in productive use, almost exclusively is registered in the name of the household head, simply with the motivation that he is the household head. In some rare cases it happens that joint property is registered in the name of the wife. The reason for this mentioned in focus group discussions is that it works like an insurance for her and the children, in case something happens to the husband.

However, the recommendations that were stated in 2006 on how to include women in the certification process have apparently not been effective. The application form with space for two names that was suggested, is not always used and there has been too little accompanying information about the importance of registering the name of both spouses. Moreover, according to discussion with both applicants for certificates and LLO staff, there are misunderstandings about how to fill out the form. The result is that couples wanting to register the land in the name of both spouses end up with a certificate registered in the name of the husband only. This is confirmed in the data: in the register of Soavinandriana there are 12 joint certificates, whereas in the household survey (which was conducted to be representative at the municipality level) 31 plots were claimed to be covered by a joint certificate. In focus group discussions women stated that asking to be registered in a joint certificate may be interpreted as not having confidence in one’s husband, which can cause conflicts within the family, and be socially controversial. Also, some women claim that the LLO is situated too far away. In the focus group discussion some men stated that it was easier for them to walk the distance (from this village a four hour walk) than for their wives, who according to the men had to stay home and take care of the children.

Imagen de Christina Ketter

Fiantso has submitted a

Fiantso has submitted a response to the recomemndations of the evaluation report. Find the suggestions here:

Imagen de Christina Ketter

Dear participants in

File 2044File 2043File 2042

Dear participants in the discussion,

First of all thank you so much for your contributions. Your comments have been well received and are highly appreciated. For those who have missed out to follow the live streamed Tweets from the meeting room, we have a summary here:

We have received a lot of comments on our Madagascar debate: Thanks a lot. The session here in Rome is about to start; We welcome our facilitator and organizer of the session Jean-Maurice Durand. Openng with a little teaser movie - see it at the land portal! Watch the entire movie at the homepage of the Observatoire du Foncier.. under multimedia resources; On the panel: Benoit Thierry (CPM), Rivo Andrianirina (Oberservatoir du Foncier), Dominique Savouré, Steven Jonckheere; Mr. Rivo will explain the land reform in Madagascar now; In Madagascar there are two systems: land title system and the land certificate system, they are both legal and complementary; BUT: legal boundaries need to be re-remarked; The land reform was implemented in a clustered way and less put into the context of decentralization; Ownership: It seems like the land reform responds to donors, we have to take local population stronger into account; Sustainability: After the donors - so what? ; Decentralization is one of the key aspects of the land reform; Titling is done by the government, certification is done by the commune.. Sustainability must be indigenous. the communes must find their own ways to finance the offices. Different sources for finances: Land taxes: system is week and has to become more efficient.; Allocation of sufficient recurrent budget by the government; Revenues from the land certification process. BUT survey fees need to be on the lowest level, as the population is poor; The solution would be an adequate mix of these three funding sources; Land data could be used for other sectors.. planning of irrigation, land use..; The integration of the land policy into other governmental policies is weak and should be improved;

The reform was donor-driven, massive and quick. The advantage is not returnable anymore. It is within the society now; But the problem with such a massive reform is, it has to be carefully integrated in the country context in order to avoid problems. LESSON; Foreign service providers did not build the capacities of the local offices adequately; Mr. Savouré: the council has carried out an audit of the reform and a legal analysis; Observations: The aim was to look for solution in land tenure; Cancelation of state ownership of land and decentralization.. they analyzed the land titling and the decentralized certification system; There have been cases where the land plots have not been surveyed correctly; The land certificate reform is remarkable, there is social control over the boundaries, which ensures the security of legal documents; The debate of the hierarchy is not so important, the title give formally more legal security, but the certificate functions similarly; Limits of the certificate: Useful only in rural areas, tenure security in urban areas is not addressed adequately; More attention should go to transfer actions (sale, heritage), which has not been integrated so much; Third: Necessity to have technical and financial means to carry out the reform and strengthening local governance; Benoit Thierry: Field perspective, the land reform may be a success. The reform is not known and there was many misunderstanding in the reform; The background of the reform was that the government was looking into land transfers, hence the need for certification was identified; Technical feasibility: IT-equipment and skills lacking at local level, so the reform was drafted that it is done with paper work as well; Inventory of the traditional land use was missing some times, which reduces the scope and potential of the land reform; Traditional land users, which have been cultivating that land since generations are not considered adequately in the land reform; Insist on secondary rights to be considered, due to high population migration;

Sabine Pallas: Gender issues have not been addressed systematically in the land reform, there is a great group of CSOs working on this;  You have to explicitly push for joint tiling and women’s land titling from the start of a land reform;  Presentation of the land portal: Multi stakeholder platform for enabling information sharing on land issues; In this context the land portal can contribute to cross-cutting analysis and the replication of best practices; The land portal is not a traditional depository of land information, but can further more enhance debate; Now the messages of the online debate are presented to the panel… find them online at the land portal! To what extend was the land reform about restoring the rights of the people’s informal customary land rights? What is the impact on the political stability of the country? The land reform was not too much about restoring customary land rights, it was about the recognition of these existing rights; The land certification is about recognizing the occupation rights. In Madagascar there is a lot of migration, there are many layers of rights; There are still some difficulties with land speculation, but the land certificates give people more legal security; The key question will be the financial sustainability of these type of reforms, also for its replication in Asia or Africa; Is there a land tax in Madagascar and is it related to the reform? Is there a risk that on land that has not been certificated yet, the rights of people has been weakened? Weakening of traditional rights? The land taxation is still weak, the problem is the awareness of citizenship and the duty to pay tax; The target is to link land property and land taxation and there is awareness raising is ongoing; The customary land ownership is still strong in some areas.. People there do not make use of the land reform; There are two parallel rights and they are both recognized in the local system; 1/3 of the land is already covered with the land reform, 60.000 certificates have been given out; Integration of land management with the agricultural policies has to be facilitated in order to make the land productive n taxes affordable; The lessons are to build the land reform on micro ownership and simplified certificates and closely linked to the decentralization process; The session was closed with this last remark. But the participants agreed that the debate will be ongoing online at the Land Portal”
Find the Tweets online, follow the Land Portal
Imagen de sabine_ilc

Dear Mamy - yes, I have seen

Dear Mamy - yes, I have seen that report - it was an output from a project coordinated by ILC! There is also the more detailed research report by FOFIFA, Plateforme SIF, FVTM, Réseau SOA and HARDI “Promoting women’s access to and control over land in the central highlands of Madagascar”, which the information in the synthesis report you mention is based on. You can see all publications from this project here.

The synthesis reports mentions three implications of the land reform process for women’s access to land namely:

  1. that the reform “does not address gender issues and women’s tenure”

  2. that “the process marginalizes women’s concerns and changes can potentially undermine existing claims for poor women”,

  3. while “Richer women can formally register claims and secure recognition”

In addition to the conclusios emerging from the research, my personal experience in Madagascar, a few years back now, was that the gender dimension had not been addressed adequately in the design of the reform. Yes, there has been a possibility from the beginning to register certifcates in women’s names, but this possibility was not promoted that much initially (and if there are cultural obstacles to considering women equally then not addressing this explicitly in the sensitisation/information given to communities, these obstacles are likely to persist).

In fact, the research carried out by the CSO partners in Madagascar highlights that legal provisions may guarantee gender equality, but attitudes prevail in society that consider land registration/certification as ‘men’s business’ and that women’s obligations (in household and in agriculture) make it difficult for them to attend any meetings, including those that concern their land rights, to name but two factors impeding women’s access to certificates.

It seems that there has been some progress and the number you quote is an indicator of that, but there is still a long way to go before we can consider gender ‘taken care of’, in my opinion. 12 344 certificates out of 61 617 is roughly 20% - and what about joint certificates? It is unlikely that the other 80% of certificates in the name of men are for land only used by that one person, most of them are probably farmed by families, but is there recognition of this on the certificate? Some may argue that this is not necessary for a family (bc the male head of household holds the certificate for all), however, we see in plenty of contexts, and I am sure that Madgascar is not exception, that upon the death of the husband, separation or divorce etc., women’s land rights are in danger of being denied. And there are plenty of women that are not married in the first place and in need of accessing land!

I also want to recommend a document produced by the Observatoire, SIF, FVTM, SAHA, HARDI, EFA and a Swedish University (in June this year), entitled “Propositions d’améloriation de la poitique et des stratégies dans la éforme foncière”, which recommends improvements to the reform to make it more gender-equal (these are based on quantitative and qualitative research in 4 regions). I haven’t seen this document online yet (though the Observatoire was involved, maybe they can make this availabel online?) - if anyone is interested, please contact SIF or any of the other organisations that participated in this research for more information.

You may also be interested in the section on Madagascar of the 2010 Review of Land Reform in Southern Africa, published by PLAAS, written by Ward Anseeuw and André Teyssier, which argues that the land reform process seems to  reinforce inequality between men and women, as few women know about their land rights and the existence of the local land offices, and concludes:

government and commune authorities need to be proactive about reconciling the differences between the statutory laws and customary practices in order to improve the situation of women. For example, the traditional authorities should be made aware of the recent land reforms and statutory changes described above, while women should be informed of their rights, trained to negotiate for these rights and encouraged to make use of the local land offices

(pp. 24-25,

Imagen de Mamy Rakotondrainibe

As a brief response

As a brief response to Sabine:

To my knowledge, the Land Reform in Madagascar has always taken care of the gender topic. The Observatoire du Foncier website reports that 12 344 out of the 61 617 land cerfificates delivered have been assigned to women

You have surely already seen this synthesis report about “Securing women access to land project” where Madagascar is one of the countries studied:


Imagen de Landy Razafindrakoto

Madagascar, un

Madagascar, un modèle, si….

1) Sur la première question sur la repliquabilité de la reforme foncière à Madagascar, surtout pour les pays bloqués par le système torrens de titre foncier avec son inattaquablité, et aussi pour les pays ou les titres fonciers ne sont pas nombreux, d’où l’information foncière est encore disponible et facile à gérer, le cas de Madagascar est repliquable. Les éléments qui pourraient être transposés sont l’élimination de la présomption de domanialité, la décentralisation de la compétence de gestion foncière, la consécration de droit par la commission de reconnaissance locale donc la gestion des conflits par la médiation au niveau local. Les contraintes sont l’inexistence d’une vraie politique foncière qui englobe l’agriculture (familiale, à grande échelle, ..) , élargissement des Aires protégées, la politique minière,  politique de l’habitat,…., le mauvais état de l’information foncière pour la conception des plans locaux d’informations foncières qui est la cartographie de base avec les différents statuts des terrains, utilisée par la commune, la capacité des agents des collectivités à gérer le foncier , la pérennisation des systèmes informatisés dans les collectivités, l’échange d’information foncière entre les services fonciers de l’administration et les services décentralisés des communes à cause de la coexistence des deux systèmes (le titre foncier et le certificat foncier), l’ancrage institutionnel de ces structures décentralisées (au niveau technique et administratif), l’application de la loi surtout au niveau des services fonciers de l’administration sur la propriété privée non titrée qui doit être la compétence des guichets fonciers communaux. Des statuts obsolètes des terrains ne sont pas encore résolus par la reforme foncière à Madagascar (terrains titrés au nom des colons, zones d’aménagement foncier, grands terrains titrés au nom de l’Etat mais occupés par les paysans depuis une cinquantaine d’années, les anciennes opérations cadastrales)

2) Le système décentralisé est durable et mise en œuvre en faveur des populations pauvres  s’il y a une volonté politique à haut niveau de continuer cette réforme foncière. Ensuite, la société civile devra se positionner sur sa vision en donnant des propositions réalistes en ayant toujours en tête les pauvres paysans. La société civile ne devra pas être le garant de la loi de l’Etat mais garant des biens des pauvres et que ses propositions seront transformées en loi à l’aide des lobbying et plaidoyer. Une campagne d’information sur la reforme foncière devra être mise en œuvre au niveau national et ceci par le Ministère de tutelle et surtout par les responsables des agents des services de l’administration. Le chef de District qui contrôle la légalité au niveau des communes doit aussi contrôler le coût des certificats fonciers fixés par la commune afin que toutes les couches de la population puissent accéder à la sécurisation foncière. Une politique de vulnérabilité devra être mise en place dans chaque commune pour tous les services offerts y compris le foncier.

3) Le foncier est un secteur compliqué et il a fallu vivre avec pour connaitre la bonne et la mauvaise pratique. Les pratiques de réforme foncière ne sont pas facilement accessibles et partagées car les personnes qui ont participé à ces expériences n’ont pas eu l’occasion de faire. Souvent lors des ateliers internationaux de partage d’expériences, les représentants des pays n’ont même pas vécu à la reforme foncière de ces pays, donc ils apprennent à celles des autres pays mais ils n’ont rien à partager ou avec des informations qui en sont pas à jour. Le portail foncier peut faciliter à cette partage d’information au cas où les acteurs de la reforme foncière dans les pays participent et l’équipe du portail devrait faire un effort  dessus, afin que les participants ne sont pas uniquement des gens qui apprennent mais en même temps partagent.

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Certainly there is a lot to

Certainly there is a lot to learn from the reform in Madagascar, not least in terms of how the original reform failed to consider gender issues adequately. Fortunately, there is now quite a bit of documentation and a set of recommendations developed by a network of CSO actors specifically on how to address gender in the reform (I don’t think this is online anywhere yet, but shall try to find out - if anyone here knows more, please add a comment!).

There are many lessons from Madagascar on the importance of addressing gender explicitly and early on to make sure that a reform such as this one does not simply formalise men’s rights over land used by multiple users because men are considered head of household by default for cultural reasons.

In addition to the larger question on how to better secure women’s rights to land in this reform, I am interested tohear more tomorrow about how to ensure the financial sustainability of certification, i.e. is it feasible to finance the guichets through the fees (related to this: what is the incentive for people to pay for a certificate?), these are questions that could be relevant for other countries also. In Madagascar, there was quite a big initial investment from various donors, so it would be good to hear more about how the reform can be continued without having to rely on donor funds in the long-term.

Imagen de André Teyssier

Est-ce que la réforme

Est-ce que la réforme foncière de Madagascar peut être répliquée dans d’autres pays ?

Chaque pays a son histoire, sa géographie, et des institutions qui lui sont propres. La transposition du modèle malgache tel quel ne ferait pas sens. En revanche, l’idée de décentraliser la gestion foncière, de supprimer la présomption de domanialité pour que des gouvernements locaux puissent délivrer et gérer des droits réels sur la terre, l’idée que la procédure de formalisation de ces droits soit mise en oeuvre à l’échelon local, voila autant de principes généraux qui peuvent être exportés et mis en oeuvre dans d’autres contextes.
Le Burundi s’est d’ailleurs déjà largement inspiré de ces fondamentaux pour réécrire son code foncier et a déjà lancé des opérations pilotes avec plusieurs guichets fonciers communaux.

Comment est-ce que des systèmes décentralisés d’administration foncière, comme dans le cas de Madagascar, peuvent être durables et être mis en œuvre en faveur des populations pauvres ?

La principale contrainte à relever est la restructuration du secteur foncier. En effet, la plupart des administrations foncières ont été conçues à l’époque coloniale pour gérer le domaine de l’Etat et pour faire du titre, généralement selon les principes du système dit Torrens. Or, avec le certificat foncier et le guichet foncier communal, la politique foncière change. Mais pas l’administration, qui reste attachée à des prérogatives et à des compétences liées à l’ancien système. La logique voudrait donc que l’administration se recompose pour s’ajuster à la nouvelle politique foncière et devienne en situation de réponse aux besoins d’appui des communes pour gérer les terres.

Une bonne capacité d’appui et de conseil aux communes leur permettra d’améliorer la rentrée de ressources fiscales, ce qui devrait dégager le budget nécessaire au fonctionnement du guichet foncier. PLus le fonctionnement de ce guichet sera pris en charge sur la ressources fiscale de la commune et moins le coût demandé à l’usager pour obtenir un certificat foncier sera élevé. C’est donc bien la condition essentielle pour sécuriser les droits des populations les plus pauvres.

Est-ce que l’information sur les bonnes (et mauvaises) expériences de réformes foncières est facilement accessible et partagée ? Comment est-ce que le « Portail foncier » peut faciliter le partage de cette information?

Les sites de l’Observatoire du Foncier et du PNF mettent à disposition une information régulièrement mise à jour sur la réforme foncière à Madagascar. Des liens avec le Land Portal sont à renforcer pour mieux faire connaitre ces institutions nationales et pour porter cette information à l’international. Par ailleurs, le Land Portal peut devenir un outil d’information au service des promoteurs de la réforme foncière malgache pour s’inspirer des meilleures pratiques mises en oeuvre ailleurs.

Imagen de Mamy Rakotondrainibe

La réforme foncière à

La réforme foncière à Madagascar peut-elle être répliquée ailleurs ?
Je ne sais pas dans quelle mesure car elle a tenu compte de quelques spécificités malgaches.

A mon avis, le principal apport de la réforme foncière à Madagascar est d’avoir déclenché des actions et améliorations dans la sécurisation foncière des citoyens et surtout des populations rurales dans un pays où pendant des décennies, la résolution des problèmes fonciers, très nombreux,  n’a jamais fait partie des priorités. Exemple : les seuls documents légaux reconnus avant la réforme étaient les titres fonciers mis en place par et pour les colonisateurs, délivrés (au cas où le parcours du combattant aboutit à son terme) après des années de démarche et moyennant des coûts inabordables pour la majorité des citoyens malgaches, par 33 services fonciers dans une île dont la surface équivaut à celle de la France et du Benelux réunis.

Face à cette situation concrète, le choix des guichets fonciers au niveau de la commune, structure décentralisée plus proche des  citoyens, semble pertinent. Des maladresses  et autres mauvaises pratiques relationnelles ont sûrement eu lieu au cours des 5 années d’existence de la réforme, mais ces conflits et tensions entre les services fonciers et les guichets fonciers se comprennent  dans le débat actuel à Madagascar sur la décentralisation, dont la volonté politique de mise en œuvre par les décideurs pose des questions  générales  fondamentales.  

Le choix du certificat foncier, seul autre document  reconnu en plus du titre foncier désormais, s’est appuyé sur une pratique déjà existante et répandue à Madagascar : l’utilisation de « petits papiers »,  « actes conventionnels sous seing privé » pour toutes les transactions, ventes ou successions ou autres transactions. En effet, les Malgaches de toutes les catégories sociales sont fortement attachés à leurs terres mais si la famille se trouve dans une difficulté financière extrême en cas de maladie grave par exemple, elle vend une partie de ses terres  à un voisin plus riche, car les terres sont souvent les seuls biens qu’elle possède.

Pour éviter que la possession de certificats fonciers amène certains petits agriculteurs à les céder plus facilement, comme le craignent les rédacteurs du rapport (p. 29) à juste titre, et pour que la sécurisation foncière ait un impact sur le développement agricole, la détermination  d’une politique nationale agricole, favorable à l’agriculture familiale vivrière et aux paysans propriétaires de petites surfaces, devra faire partie des priorités des Malgaches.

Face aux difficultés actuelles, le fait que la réforme foncière se soit trop appuyée sur les bailleurs de fonds peut être critiqué. Mais la pauvreté des paysans, principaux bénéficiaires cibles, et le caractère fortement dépendant de l’ensemble de l’économie malgache vis-à-vis des financements extérieurs, depuis toujours, y compris au niveau du budget de l’Etat, peuvent avoir expliqué l’absence du choix de moyens.  Espérons que les leçons tirées des difficultés actuelles et la poursuite des réflexions déjà engagées dans le rapport permettront de trouver des solutions qui vont renforcer la sécurisation foncière des paysans et leur autonomie dans la prochaine phase de la réforme foncière.  

Des choix politiques devront être faits pour que les institutions en charge du foncier soient cohérentes avec la nouvelle politique foncière.

Imagen de Andrianirina - Ratsialonana

I think that not only the

I think that not only the experiences from Madagascar’s land reform can be replicated, but since it is an ongoing process which has to be improved, Madagascar should learn from other countries that has experienced this kind of land reform. These last five or ten years, this model of land management decentralization has been spread out within especially african countries. This would be fruitful to collect and capitalize how these countries managed to overcome some issues as sustainability, land rights recognition, duality of systems, etc. In that scope, I deeply feel that the Land Portal can help as an exchange platform available for all the project managers, land administration agents, decisionmakers and policydesigners. I kindly invite people to share and to learn more from the discussion.

Imagen de uellenberg

All the cases of landgrabbing

All the cases of landgrabbing are demonstrating how important land securisation for the farmers is. And the key questions are, how to make it sustainable and pro-poor. The evaluation report in the case of Madagascar shows that there is still a lot to do. The process is very complex, and thus, you need not only the financial resources and technical skills, but also a good understanding of the history and of the culture. Land in most countries is more than just a production factor, but has many dimensions. Therefore, it is not easy to transfer the approach to other countries. You always have to look at the specific situation. Nevertheless, I think, we should draw our lessons from the case of Madagascar.

Imagen de Land policy and land management project

The following publications

The following publications might give you a deeper insight into land policies in Madagascar.

If you are interested in further information concerning land in Madagascar, we recommend a reasearch paper about the possible pro-poor effects of Jatropha plantations in Madagascar: Analysis of the socio-economic situation of households in the vicinity of a Jatropha plantation in Madagascar

For more information on the land tenure system, land policy and legal framework for investments in land in Madagascar: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Madagascar



Imagen de Luca Miggiano

Looking forward to

Looking forward to participating in such an interesting discussion. On Question 3, it would be great if: i) this discussion will remain up in the Land Portal’s Madagascar page beyond the Share Fair event; ii) we could take record of the most interesting tweats from Twitter, perhaps with the notes coming from the event. Again, I think it’s really a good initiative and hope that more and more will take place on the Portal.

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