By Andy Zieminski
The Washington Times
August 6, 2007
For some development authorities, one good deed — to land — could change the world. Giving even small amounts of land to the landless in India and ensuring property rights for Chinese farmers have the potential not only to improve the lives of hundreds of millions, but also to help close the rural-urban gap in two vast countries where years of rapid growth have disproportionately benefited the cities, said Tim Hanstad, president of the Seattle-based Rural Development Institute.
Mr. Hanstad and others argue that the lack of clear rules regarding land ownership has locked many of India and China”s 1.5 billion rural residents into deep poverty, blocking them from contributing significantly to each country”s booming economy.
“Really what land reform is about in both countries is creating or broadening an ownership society….