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Ecuador to improve rural land markets and reduce poverty with IDB support

Ecuador will expand measures to regularize land tenure and implement an efficient cadastral management and rural property registry system with a $90 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

This project is the cornerstone of Ecuador’s land policy and essential to the development of rural areas and poverty reduction. Nearly 60 percent of rural properties in Ecuador have no updated property records, and 12 percent of properties have no titles. By the end of this project, the cadastre will be updated for some 800,000 rural properties of the 2.7 million estimated to exist in the country. The legal status of tenure will be enhanced for approximately 314,000 properties.  

The project will provide legal certainty to property rights for thousands of farmers, paving the way for increased investments and access to credit that can help traditional agricultural producers improve productivity of their farms. Agriculture accounts for 9 percent of Ecuador’s gross domestic product, employing over a quarter of its labor force.

The project will finance the production of digital aerial photographs and thematic maps for property assessment of the entire national territory, and it will update rural property registry and cadastral systems in 50 municipalities, providing technical and legal assistance to regularize land ownership, particularly for indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian communities.  

Moreover, the IDB will support the implementation and upgrading of information systems to link in real time the municipal data bases of the cadastre and property registry offices. These two systems will be also linked to a national data base and staff will be trained to use these systems. The project will generate information for better land management and land use planning in rural areas as well as better assessment of land values which could improve municipal fiscal revenues.

The IDB has been supporting Ecuador’s efforts to regularize land tenure since 2002, when the Bank approved a $15.2 million loan to help the government develop a viable methodology for carrying out large-scale physical and legal property regularization. This project was completed last year.

This latest IDB loan will mature in 25 years and it has a four-year grace and disbursement period and a Libor-based interest rate. Local counterpart funds total $38 million.

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