- Land is an important factor of production.
- Without land it is impossible to practice the agricultural business.
- However the efficiency of utilization of land is influenced to a large extent by the condition of holding the land.
- Land tenure is defined as the possession of the legal rights to the use of land.
- Various kinds of rights to the use of land give rise to different tenure systems.
Land Tenure System
- All land tenure systems fall into two major classes, namely:
Collective Tenure Systems
Communal Tenure Systems
- This involves the possession of rights over land by the whole community.
- It works quite well under conditions of unlimited, land res
Advantages of Communal Tenure
- Landless problem does not exist.
- Land is not fragmented.
- Allows for free movement of animals in search of better pastures and water.
- Promotes community spirit among the members.
Disadvantages of Communal Tenure
- No incentive among the users to conserve the land resources.
- Everybody strives to maximize returns from the land without the drive to invest, for example, in terms of soil conservation and maintenance of soil fertility.
- There is a tendency of overstocking and continuous cropping; which leads to soil erosion and loss of land productivity.
- As a result of communal grazing of livestock, it is impossible to improve livestock through;
- controlled breeding,
- proper feeding,
- disease and parasite control.
- Since there is no title deed, (certificate of ownership) it is virtually impossible to secure loans to develop the land.
Co-operative Tenure System
- This category includes various collective arrangements under the government or other authorities.
- Farmers voluntarily group together and buy land which they subsequently operate on co-operative basis.
- Examples are co-operative ranches.
Advantages of Co-operative Tenure
- No land disputes.
- Labour is well utilized.
- Profit is distributed according to the number of shares.
- Resource use is enhanced for high production.
Disadvantages of co-operative tenure.
- Incase of poor management everybody will loose.
- No individual title deed hence cannot secure loans.
- Land is owned by the whole state and is refered to as government land.
Examples in Kenya;
- Areas not allocated to individuals
- Land under local county councils/cities and towns
- Land under forest, game reserve and parks, land for infra-structure and public utility
Advantages of state ownership
- Generation of income for the state
- All the citizens benefit from whatever comes out of the land.
- Non-competitive in terms of production
- No individual motivation when working on the land.
Individual Tenure system
The various forms of individual land tenure are;
- Owner operator,
- Plantation and Concestion,
- This category includes all persons who operate on land to which they have absolute individual rights.
- Examples are the majority of individual land owners in areas where demarcation and registration of land has taken place and title deeds issued.
- The owner is free to make permanent production plans.
- The owner can pledge the land title deed to secure loans(credit) from lending agencies for further development
- An individual is motivated to work harder than when under communal arrangement
- Managerial failures usually affect small units of production and are therefore negligible.
- It is easy for the owner to get agricultural advice.
- Cost such as machinery for processing may be too high for the individual owner
- Innovation may be inadequate due to low levels of education.
- Lack of capital to invest.
Plantation and concession
- In this form of land tenure, the individual is usually a company or a corporation.
- Most of them engage in the production of only one commodity
- They are rigid in their production plans and in most cases labour is hired on wage basis.
- Example are coffee, tea, sugarcane, sisal estates in Kenya.
- High production from the land hence high economic gains
- Allows foreigners to use and develop land
- No land disputes
- Create employment for the local people
- Generate government revenue through taxation.
- Individuals own large pieces of land while others are landless
- Large areas of land may be left underdeveloped.
- Foreigners may repatriate profit to their countries.
Landlordism and tenancy
- The arrangement here involves the ownership of land by one individual or group of individuals (landlord) who lease it to another individual (tenant).
- A legal lease specifies the length of time during which the tenure is operative;
and that serves as a security of tenure to the tenant.
- The efficiency of production in this arrangement is greatly affected by the length of lease, its legal backing and rent payable.
- A person without land can get a chance to use land.
- A landlord who cannot operate the land, for any reason, can still earn income by leasing it to a needy tenant.
- It is a flexible arrangement; that is, it allows room for change of production plans should need arise.
- Security of tenure gives the tenant incentive to invest depending on the length of tenure.
- Poor land use and low production if the tenant does not have enough funds to improve on land.
- Tenants cannot produce long term crops,
- Landlords can exploit the tenants by overcharging.
- Lack of incentives to improve land by the tenants since it does not belong to them.
- Land reform is any organized action designed to improve the structure of land tenure and land use.
Forms of Land Reform
- This means bringing or putting together, into one piece; fragmented parcels or pieces of land scattered over a large area.
The objective of land consolidation are :
- To save on time spent while moving from one piece of land to another.
- To facilitate effective and efficient farm planning.
- To create an incentive among land operators to invest on and develop land.
- To facilitate mechanization and improve production through efficiency.
- To improve level of production through effective supervision of the labour force and sound farming methods,
Land Fragmentation and Sub-division
- This is the subdividing of a (large) piece of land into smaller portions.
- Sometimes it becomes necessary to sub-divide land for the following reasons:
- To sell part of the land.
- The parent may wish to subdivide and distribute his land among the sons, daughters and other dependants.
- The government may decide to subdivide large farms in order to settle landless citizens.
Land Adjudication and Registration
- Land adjudication involves;
- Establishing the legitimate ownership,
- Measurements (to make permanent boundaries)
- Recording of land details.
- Once land has been adjudicated, and any disputes concerning the same land are settled,
- It is then registered in the “Register of Land”.
- And the owner is issued with a land title deed or certificate of legal ownership.
Importance of land title deed
- The legal owner of the land has security of tenure and hence an incentive to invest and improve productivity.
- A farmer can mortgage the land by offering land title certificate as a security to loaning agencies to secure capital to finance development projects.
- If a farmer who cannot operate the farm, he can still earn income from it by leasing it.
- Disputes concerning land boundaries and/or land ownership no longer arise.
Land Settlement and Resettlement
- Land settlement means the occupation of land which was previously uninhabited.
- Land resettlement, on the other hand, is the transfer of people from an already densely populated area to a sparsely populated one.
- To settle the landless citizens.
- To relieve population pressure in densely populated areas.
- To increase or promote agricultural productivity by farming on land that was previously unused or lying idle.
- To create self-employment thus improving the living standards.
- Land reclamation, especially by creating tsetse fly-barriers.