This text deals with the relationships between land transactions and the formalization of land rights in a Malagasy context, exploring the local procedures aiming at securing land transactions, while putting them in perspective with the legal formalization of land rights through land certification. Our research shows that
(i) transactions are far from being limited to legally recorded plots of land,
(ii) the local extra-legal procedures for formalizing transactions are highly standardized,
(iii) the buyer’s choice regarding the way to secure the transaction varies according to his relation with the seller and to the type of document that previously secured the seller’s property rights on the plot, and
(iv) rather than a substitute, the plot certificate comes as a complement, an ‘additional layer’, to local sales contracts formalization.
Read the article online here.