Throughout the world’s countrysides, the difference between poverty and prosperity often lies under people’s feet: land. When poor farmers come to own the land on which they work, their newfound pride, commitment, and long-term outlook dramatically increase their productivity. As a result, land ownership not only helps families generate more income and wealth, but it also leads them to enjoy better nutrition, health, self-esteem, and community status.

As several revolutions have...

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