Land Tenure and Food Security in South India

Hulya Dagdeviren, Arthanari Elangovan, Ramanathan Parimalavelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tenure security with land titles is considered important for agricultural productivity and growth. In this view, formal titles enable land to be used as collateral, facilitate access to credit markets and increase productivity
enhancing investments. Recent studies have extended this approach to food security. This article investigates the validity of the relationship between tenure security and food security by focusing on four different forms of access to land, ranging from ownership with title deeds to informal access. The research is based on a household survey data, specifically collected for this purpose in a rural setting in Tamil Nadu. In contrast to the studies highlighting the collateral effect, the results in this paper show a negative relationship between credit (debt) and food security, possibly reflecting the influence of indebtedness amongst farming households and debt repayments which constitute a drain on incomes and limit spending on food. Furthermore, the study finds that the probability of food insecurity is lower with both customary and formalised tenure with title deeds in comparison to access to land through tenancy and informal access.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106837
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalLand Use Policy
Early online date27 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023


  • Food security
  • Land
  • Rural sector
  • South India
  • Tenure security


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