ABSTRACT

Inevitably confusion and misunderstandings over definitions arise when the terms land reform and agrarian reform are used loosely and interchangeably. All-encompassing agrarian reform measures, rather than changes in access to land alone, are normally indicated when such weighty claims are advanced. Agrarian reform generally embodies land reform as its most important element. ‘Agrarian reform includes both redistributing land and assisting new landowners by assuring them inputs and markets, extending credit and imparting certain technology that will help them to become agricultural producers’. The World Bank agrees that agrarian reform ‘is a more comprehensive concept than land reform, since it involves a wide modification of a wide range of conditions that affect the agricultural sector’. The granting of territorial land rights, the allocation of plots of cultivable land with titles, security of tenure and the abolition of hacienda obligations and services are generally regarded in Latin America as the major social gains from land reform.