Can Customary Land Tenure Facilitate Agricultural Productivity Growth? Evidence from Burkina Faso

Yoko Kusunose, Véronique Thériault and Didier Alia


In Burkina Faso, land is managed through customary tenure, which discourages land rentals and sales. Yet it permits land transactions through an institution called borrowing. This study investigates whether the borrowed status of land affects the seasonal crop and input choices as well as longer-term, productivity-enhancing investments made on it. Analysis using nationally representative, plot-level data from the Enquête Permanente Agricole suggests that borrowed land is more intensively farmed in terms of cropping and inputs. We find no evidence of borrowed lands having fewer erosion-preventing investments or of being fallowed less than nonborrowed (inherited) land. (JEL O13, O17)

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