Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelhoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of leasehold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform.
A farm tenancy is a contractual agreement whereby the tenant farmer, the lessee, agrees a tenancy with the landowner, the lessor. The tenancy will identify the piece of land leased, together with the other terms and conditions, including rent.