Rural Land Sector in Sri Lanka Major Characteristics Determinants and Implications for Land Policy

Research team

Parakrama A Samaratunga
Ilhani Marawila




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The problems in the rural land sector of Sri Lanka are generally attributed to the failures in the regulatoryframework, institutional set-up, markets, property rights system and poverty. This study reviews thecontemporary issues related to the land sector with special emphasis on identifying the major determinantsof commonly observed problems. The first objective is to identify common characteristics and theircauses in the rural land sector. The second objective of this study has been set as answering the basicquestion whether the state land policies and institutional changes have led to efficient land use and thewell being of the land users of Sri Lanka. It attempts to explore deeply the micro environment related torural land sector within a general macro setting. The study involves an extensive literature survey in whichcharacteristics of the sector and the possible causes are identified. Relationships between these observablephenomena and the possible root causes are tested econometrically for their empirical validity, based onthe data gathered in a household level field survey of 700 households in seven districts.