Access to land is highly correlated with poverty throughout South Asia. The general agreement is that the poor are to be found largely in the rural sector among the landless, the near landless and agricultural labourers. Land has basically been the major source of livelihood and the means of generating, accumulating and transferring wealth for the rural poor of Sri Lanka . Nevertheless ownership and user rights to land are likely to determine the farm productivity and accessibility to financial and labour markets thereby determining to a large degree the socio-economic status of the lower income groups. Insecure property rights and other land market distortions together with state intervention seems to be impeding the access to, as well as the efficient utilization of land by the poor.
This study attempts to develop a scheme for empowering the poor so that they can participate in planning on matters related to land and land use. The specific aspects on which the proposed programme concentrates includes a review of available information to identify and assess land related problems, selection of specific localities to represent broader areas, identification of basic land productivity related problems of the poor and the relevant interventions.