Knowledge Note

Women in Sub-Saharan Africa are less likely than men to own land. They also use less land and have lower tenure security over the land that they use. This gap is costly in terms of lost productive output. The early results showed that improved tenure security through land demarcation increased long-term investments in cash crops and trees and erased the gender gap in land fallowing - a key soil fertility investment. It is important that interventions cover as much of a household’s landholdings as possible: the authors found that some women shifted their agricultural production to plots of land that did not benefit from demarcation so that they can guard these less secure and less productive plots.