Public Control Of Private Land In Kenya: An Analysis Of Land Control In Muhoroni, Nyanza Province In Western Kenya.
Konyimbih, Tom M
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Public policy on agricultural land in Kenya favours individual registered smallholdings (except in ranching and highly mechnised farming areas and settlement schemes. Thus as the registration of Trust (traditional) lands gained momentum in the mid 1960s, the independent Government passed the legislation (the Land Control Act Cap,302) to regulate the dealings in agricultural land to avoid land fragmentation, speculative accumulation of holdings, unproductive indebtedness and to stem those transactions that would be detrimental to the landholder's family. Using the research findings from Muhoroni, a settlement administrative division in Nyanza province where sugarcane is grown mainly by small-scale farmers as a cash crop, we argue that more than three decades later, the land control system has not achieved its desired objectives. The statute is over ambitious in its provisions and the public land control agents, the boards in their present set up, composition and approach have no way of implementing the provisions of the statu~ on the ground. The control boards are however able to safeguard the traditional social interest of the family members where they stand to loose in a fraudulent transaction if such a case comes to them. The land control boards have neither the pro-active investigative ability nor the enforcement machinery on land matters.
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