Patriarchal attitudes stymie Kenya's laws to give women land rights

On Fri, Nov 25, 2016

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
By: Caroline Wambui

Tabitha Karimi could barely hide her delight at the thought of a bumper harvest as she took part in training on how to farm with crops specially adapted to the region, after many years of poor harvests in Tharaka in eastern Kenya.

Karimi, who usually produces just five or six bags of the beans, maize and vegetables she grows on the six-acre (2.4 hectare) farm she tends with her husband, said she had learned a lot from a session in which crops were tested for their suitability to the soil.

Agriculture needs a makeover to lure young people back to farming

On Mon, Aug 22, 2016

By: Magdalena Mis and Isaiah Esipisu
Date: August 22nd 2016
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Around the world, farmers are ageing as the sector fails to attract younger talent who head instead to cities in search of work

ROME/NAIROBI, Aug 22 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For Kenyan farmer Pauline Wafula, there was never a question that her children would have to get their hands dirty and learn how to grow their own food.

Land reform in Kenya has been marked by several significant milestones in recent years.

In 2009, the Kenyan Parliament approved the National Land Policy (NLP), which mandates land restitution or resettlement for those who have been dispossessed and calls for reconsideration of constitutional protection for the property rights of those who obtained their land irregularly. The NLP was supported by the ratification of a new Constitution in 2010. The Kenyan constitution holds that all land belongs to the people of Kenya, classifies land as public, community or private, establishes a National Land Commission and allows non-citizens to hold land only on the basis of leasehold tenure. Further progress was marked by the passage of the Land Act, Land Registration Act, and the National Land Commission Act in 2012.

Despite legislative advances, secure and equitable access to and control over land for all Kenyans remains elusive. Current land-related issues in Kenya include: historical land inequities and land conflicts (which contribute to violence and displacement, including after the 2007 presidential elections); gender discrimination impeding the realization of women’s land rights; water scarcity; demand for forest resources; urban poverty and urbanization; and the management of rangelands needed by pastoralists. 

Date of publication
Febrero 2014

 It is well recognized that secure land and property rights for all are essential to reducing poverty because they underpin economic development and social inclusion. Secure land tenure and property rights enable people in urban and rural areas to invest in improved homes and livelihoods. Although many countries have completely restructured their legal and regulatory framework related to land and they have tried to harmonize modern statutory law with customary ones, millions of people around the world still have insecure land tenure and property rights.

Lack of access to land and the fear of eviction epitomize a pervasive exclusion of poor people from mainstream social, economic and civic opportunities, especially women. To address these problems, tools and strategies to increase poor people’s access to secure land and housing tenure need to be devised. The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), whose Secretariat is hosted by UN-Habitat, recognizes that security of tenure for the poor can best be improved by recognizing a range of types of land tenure beyond individual titles. The current thinking focuses on a “continuum of land rights” that is being promoted and increasingly accepted worldwide. 

In this synthesis report, the issue of tenure security is addressed and assessed in several countries where government, civil society, the private sector and development cooperation initiatives have been implemented for decades. The selected case studies from fifteen (15) countries ensure not only a geographic balance but they also represent countries with different socio-economic and land-related histories and that have followed different pathways. The studies’ key findings underline the still precarious state of tenure security in many countries.

The findings also show best practices for legal and administrative reforms that have generated incentives for long-term investment in land, or incentives to include the poor more comprehensively. The case studies will hopefully work as a kind of “compendium” on the current state of tenure security, its future challenges and perspectives. They will allow for comparisons between countries and regions and address, besides others, policy makers, the private sector, civil society organizations and donors. Also, they will help applied researchers and implementers of “ground checks” and may support students of different disciplines to cope better with complexity in tenure issues.

This work was undertaken through a joint endeavour with the Chair of Land Management at Technische Universität München (TUM) and the Sector Project Land Policy and Land Management of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The findings will enhance our knowledge of serious tenure security challenges and hopefully will inspire additional policy debate on implementation, inclusion, or incentives, as well as new research on secure land and property rights for all. The findings will also be useful to GLTN’s global partners (currently more than 63 consisting of professionals, development partners, research and training institutions, technical and civil society groups) to address land tenure and land reform, amongst other issues.

Date of publication
Febrero 2006

The World Trade Organization (WTO) hailed the recent Hong Kong Sixth Ministerial Meeting last December 2005 as a positive movement towards the conclusion of the Doha Development Round. The round was supposedly geared towards ensuring that trade contributes to the development objectives of least developed and developing countries. However, for most civil society groups around the world, the Hong Kong meeting was nothing but a step towards further liberalization, a prescription for countries to further open up their markets, despite its negative impact on small producers, especially small farmers, in developing economies.


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