Gaining Rights of Access to Land in West-Central Côte d’Ivoire
This paper describes the various means by which people gain access to land in two study sites in central Côte d’Ivoire. As in many other parts of the country, there have been very high levels of in-migration into former forested areas, with people seeking land to establish coffee and cocoa holdings. As forest has been cut down and land has become scarcer, the terms on which incomers can acquire access to land have tightened and shifted towards a combination of sharecropping, mortgage, and rental contracts. Cash is now a very frequent element in these transactions. The study examines the evolution of such arrangements and analyses the principal factors which help explain these changes. These comprise not only economic, but also political, demographic, and social processes which affect the interests and negotiating powers of different actors.