The 'Land Debate' : is land reform the solution? An analysis of Brazil and South Africa.
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This dissertation serves to assess the economic and social effects of land reform policies in Brazil and South Africa. The paper presents a brief historical review of land issues, related land laws and regulations within each country. The study pays special attention to the ‘market-assisted’ approach to agrarian reform which has been promoted by the World Bank. It was found that this particular form of land reform has been achieving sub-optimal results in the countries in question. Rural poverty and inequality remain major issues in both countries, while the effects on the agricultural sector vary. South Africa’s agribusiness sector suffers whereas Brazil’s agribusiness industry thrives; the reasons behind these different outcomes are also discussed. Various alternate policy instruments from heterodox schools of economics are proposed as possible solutions to improve the results of land reform.