Malian farmers denounce land grabbing
(Ecofin Agency) - In Mali, the farmers' rights organization reported a growing trend of land grabbing, and in the same move called for a fast enforcement of the 2017 land law whose decrees were issued last month. This was on the sidelines of the discussion meetings called “Village of landless” in Segou, RFI reports.
“The village communities denounce the action of large national and foreign groups that buy land in disregard of their (ed: villages communities) rights,” said the media, reporting the words of Massa Koné (photo), the spokesperson of the anti-land grabbing Malian convergence which initiated the event.
“The administration is supported by the military force and the gendarmerie. They always find arguments to justify that these lands belong to the state. They always believe that land belongs to the state,” he added.
Chantal Jacovetti, head of mission at the National Coordination of farmers' organizations, explained that “the problem is that the state has never set a mechanism to recognize customary rights. The law on agricultural land explicitly establishes a full system, a mechanism that sets villages through village land commissions, to define their own area, the first time.”
However, she pointed out that “there are some problematic regions, which include all lands registered in the name of the State such as Office du Niger. At this point, we are working to help the office ensure a protection for ancestral villages and its own territory, thanks to the law on agricultural land”.