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State Led And Market Assisted Land Reforms

4318 words - 18 pages

Land is that part of the earth that is not covered by water (Fisher: 1987). It comprises of all naturally occurring resources whose supply is essentially fixed. Without land, man cannot survive: without access to it, man cannot labour. Land is important as all natural resources are fundamental to the production of all goods. Land as a factor of production is of immense importance because land is the original source of all material wealth. Moreover, the economic prosperity of a country is closely linked to the richness of her natural resources, (Hans, et al: 2009).Land is an economic resource as well asan important factor in the formation of individual and collective identity, and in the ...view middle of the document...

Thus, while land reforms may be radical in nature such as through large – scale transfers of land from one group to another; it can also be less dramatic, such as regulatory reforms aimed at improving land administration (Ibid).
State-led land reform is the redistribution of land for farming and residential uses by allocating state land or, land purchased or expropriated from landowners who do not themselves cultivate or who own land in excess of what is stipulated by the Agricultural Land Reform Act to farmers who are landless or do not have sufficient land for cultivation, and to farmers' institutions by means of lease and sale. In so doing, the state will provide supporting services such as resource development, marketing facilities as well as public utilities (SEAMEO: 2009).
Market-led land reform denotes equal access to land asset through the market mechanism in order to promote efficient resource allocation. Market-led land reforms (also market-assisted, market-driven, market-friendly or negotiated land reforms) have been initiated to indicate strategies that intend to dynamize the demand for and the supply of land. Market-assisted land reforms consist of beneficiaries, assisted by the community and local government, receiving a combination of grants and loans from the public and private sectors which they use to negotiate the purchase of the land from willing sellers and to set up viable farms, (Deininger, 1999; 2001).


During the period of colonialism, colonial masters invited and persuaded their fellow countrymen to come and invest in the colonial states. They sold huge portions of land at very low prices to would be investors. This attracted a lot of entrepreneurs who came and purchased land for agriculture, mining, forestry, ranching, quarrying and so on.
This drove out a lot of locals from their land that they had inherited and worked for their livelihoods since time in memorial. This brought about landless farmers and system of renting out farm land.
After independence, the new governments identified that there are a number of imbalances in the distribution of land stretching from land availability, where competitive land prices had driven demand for prime agricultural land. Access to productive land, where there is a decline due to pressuring of growing population trends and worsening land degradation as a result of climate change. To the issue of ownership of huge portion of land limited to a relatively small number of wealthy owners. Owing to these inequalities, governments decided to implement land reforms to help correct this abnormally (King, R: 1977).
Actors behind State- Led Land Reform
This now brings us to what is known as state- led land reform. The initial land reform came to be known as state- led reform after the coming in of the market- led land reform. This is so because this system of land reform was initiated and implemented by state or rather governments.
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