Discussion Paper No. 140 of 2012 on An Evaluation of the Effects of Land Tenure on Land Use in Kenya: Evidence from Bondo, Busia and Siaya Districts
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Land is an important asset for economic, social and cultural development in Kenya. Agriculture is a key sector in the Kenyan economy, which requires optimal and sustainable use of agricultural land available. Insecure land ownership is one of the challenges that hinder optimal and sustainable land use in the country, while secure rights have resulted to instances of productive land being left idle and land hoarding. This study applies the Generalized Estimating Equation model on Yala Wetland data obtained from the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis 2005 field survey to investigate how land tenure affects land use and land improvements in Kenya. The results indicate that private title holders had an increased probability of investing on land improvements compared to those on communal land, while livestock keeping, food and cash crop farming had an increased probability of investing on land improvement compared to those whose land was idle. Land tenure was not significant in those farms that no farming activity was taking place, but the type of soil was significant with those farms with rocky unsuitable soils having higher probability of not being farmed compared to the other types of soils. Land tenure did not affect food crop farming. It affected farming involving cash crops, whether planted alone or in combination with food crops. Land reforms, especially titling in agricultural areas, need to be fast tracked as this would encourage investments on land improvements and the growing of perennial crops, thereby reducing land degradation. For the dry areas and those regions with unsuitable soils for farming, the government needs to encourage farmers to undertake other forms of farming that do not depend on soil type such as fish farming and bee keeping. Introduction of land tax for those productive farms left unattended is an option the government can explore that would reduce instances of idle land and land hoarding.
Land Tenure; Land use; Land Reforms; Land Ownership; Kenya
PublisherThe Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)
SeriesDiscussion Paper No.140 of 2012;
- Discussion Papers