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Chapter 8 – Agricultural Laws and Reforms

Land Tenure

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Land tenure refers to the system of land ownership in a place. Land is a natural attribute which man can mobilize to effect production of goods and services. It is the most important possession of every farmer, in that both his crops and livestock are raised on land.

Agricultural land is limited in supply, and as such, has to be acquired through any of these ways:

  1. Communal land tenure: Here, the land belongs to the community which may mean a clan, village, kindred or family. Every male adult belonging to the community is entitled to a portion of land for agriculture. No person has full right to the ownership of the land in terms of using it to obtain a loan or to sell part of it.
  2. Individual land tenure: This is a system where the land belongs to an individual. He can use it for agriculture, for residential or for industrial purposes. He can put it on lease, rent it out, pledge or sell it if he so desires. Such an individual usually acquires such land by purchase or inheritance. This allows him to register such land and obtain certificate of occupancy. Eventually, the children succeeding him may fragment the land, thereby creating small individual holdings.
  3. Rent tenancy or leasehold:
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