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Title: Land reform in Kenya
Author: Ndengu, Musa
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 3156
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2000
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This research investigates the effectiveness of land reform in Kenya in relation to its stated policy aims of improving farm productivity through case studies of three districts where land reform has been implemented. One was an area with dense population and predominant customary form of land tenure (Kakamega); another one had the most recent land reform programme - group-ranching system (Kajiado); and the third had an early land reform acclaimed as a success within the former 'white highlands (Trans Nzoia). Although many studies on land reform suggest that collateral is one of the common ways of funding agricultural development, this was found to be defective as it does not test the borrower's ability to repay the loan, encourages excessive borrowing, and repayment schedules are often not realistic. For many farmers, the use of land as collateral depended on their ability to process title deeds; financial institutions to lend money; no market distortions/information asymmetry; and absence of cultural restrictions. We have also demonstrated that how land rights are assigned and the land tenure security determines households ability to generate income, their social and economic status, incentives to make investments, and a farmer's ability to access financial markets. Creation of land board committees in Kenya composed of local elders for resolving land disputes was aimed at increasing their (elders) involvement leading to decisions that reflected community wishes. Our findings were that on average, about 70 per cent of such decisions on land disputes were upheld by courts of appeal on technicalities because land boards lack a sufficient basis in law and there was no training programme for the members. Group ownership of land with shared possession and communal decision making on its administration hardly existed in the case study areas but was used to foster unity, address social needs, and provided a mechanism for disbursing inequalities in ability, knowledge and wealth. On gender issues and land tenure, the need for increased tenure security to women was found not be enough for their participation in the land market without access to credit, information, and appropriate technologies. This research has proposed an improved system of managing land reforms based upon an analysis of existing land record system, and formulated an alternative address referencing system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Farm productivity; Agricultural development Agricultural industries Regional planning