Mali - Food Security and Land Governance Factsheet

Food security in Mali is dependent on access to land and tenure security. Most of the land is regulated under customary tenure systems. Competition over land and natural resources is increasing, putting more pressure on customary arrangements. Within communities, secure access to good quality land is becoming more difficult for groups with weaker rights, such as women and migrants. Women access to land mostly through family members. Their plots are often of low quality and with little tenure security. Between communities, the pressure is on livestock holders. Relying on mobility to access grazing lands, water and markets, they find livestock corridors blocked and pastures converted into fields. A new development is the acquisition of land from customary land holders by urban based elites and investors, who then formalize these transactions. Land tenure systems are different in the Office du Niger. Smallholders hold annual leases while large-scale investors sign different contracts with government agencies to access land and water rights. Conflict over land and water is increasing in the Office du Niger and can become violent, particularly if availability of water is reduced. Moreover, general insecurity after the 2012 military coup adds to the current tenure insecurity.