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Land rental in a multi-ethnic society: Insights from Southwest China

Xiaobo Hua, Yasuyuki Kono, Le Zhang, Erqi Xu and Renshan Luo

Land Use Policy, 2020, vol. 97, issue C

Abstract: This study presents detailed evidence on the characteristics, processes, and consequences of land rental practices in a multi-ethnic rural society in Yunnan Province, Southwest China, which have rarely been explored. It contributes to the existing literature on land rental and control by considering the dimension of ethnicity. The findings show the following: Interethnic land rental is a very common and noteworthy feature in the selected Han-Jingpo multi-ethnic rural society. Han ethnic households rented and accumulated a large proportion of farmland and forestland from neighbouring Jingpo ethnic households. This was done to expand cash crops and timber forest, as opposed to the activities of Jingpo ethnic households. Interethnic land rental was mainly triggered by different development capabilities and attitudes towards agricultural commercialization supported by differences in resource assets due to ethnic living patterns and other dynamic socio-political reasons. Consequently, Jingpo ethnic households are experiencing an increasing income gap due largely to declines in farmland and forestland, while possibilities for positive interethnic interactions were found. These findings are relevant for rethinking land rental policies in China and also provide useful insights for rural sustainability in any multi-ethnic area where interethnic interactions of land or other resources coexist.

Keywords: Ethnicity; Land rental; Intimate exclusion; Land use change; Livelihood; Yunnan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2020.104743

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