Agricultural Laws And Reforms | Land Tenure System, Types, Communal, Inheritance, Leasehold, Free Gift,

Land Tenure Systems In Nigeria The ownership of land in Nigeria varies from individual to communal ownership. Under individual ownership, families hold the land and have the right to farm, build, pledge it for money, or sell it. In contrast, communal ownership involves the community, which can be an extended family, village, or town, holding […]

Land Tenure Systems In Nigeria

The ownership of land in Nigeria varies from individual to communal ownership. Under individual ownership, families hold the land and have the right to farm, build, pledge it for money, or sell it. In contrast, communal ownership involves the community, which can be an extended family, village, or town, holding the land collectively. In this system, members cannot use the land against the community rulers’ wishes, and only annual crops can be planted.

 

Land Tenure Definition

Land tenure refers to the system of land ownership or acquisition by individuals, families, communities, or government agencies, either for temporary or permanent use. It encompasses the rights and relationships established to control and use land.

 

Types Of Land Tenure Systems

  1. Communal land tenure:

Communal land tenure is a traditional form where land is considered the community’s property. All community members can use the land for agriculture, but selling any part of it is prohibited, treating it as a non-negotiable legacy.

 

   Advantages:

  1. Opportunities for individual members to request land for farming.
  2. Cooperative farming is feasible due to extensive land.
  3. Large-scale farming is possible through community cooperation.
  4. Ease of transferring land to prospective farmers.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Inadequate maintenance of soil fertility.
  2. Non-members cannot access the land for farming.
  3. Lack of cooperation for large-scale farming.
  4. Fragmentation of land into small units.
  5. Perennial crops are impractical due to possible re-allocation.

 

  1. Tenure Based on Inheritance:

Inheritance-based tenure involves passing land from one generation to another, allowing the land to be used as collateral for loans and encouraging investment for agricultural production.

 

Advantages:

  1. Land serves as security for obtaining loans.
  2. Investment in land improvement for agricultural production.
  3. Feasibility of mechanized farming and perennial crops.

 

Disadvantages:

  1. Land fragmentation among heirs.
  2. Challenges with mechanized farming on small plots.
  3. Potential disputes among family members.
  4. Land may be owned by individuals uninterested in development.

 

  1. Leasehold Tenure:

Leasehold tenure permits a farmer to work on a piece of land for a fixed time under specified conditions, with rent paid to the landowner. The land reverts to the owner after the lease period unless renegotiated.

 

   Advantages:

  1. Efficient land use.
  2. Easy accessibility compared to communal ownership.
  3. No delays in acquiring or leaving the land.
  4. Opportunity for the landowner to earn more money.

 

   Disadvantages:

  1. Inability to use land as security for loans.
  2. Discouragement of planting perennial crops.
  3. Potential disputes between tenant and owner.
  4. Impacts on long-term planning.

 

  1. Tenure Based on Free Gift:

Free gift tenure involves donating or giving land for goodwill or as an incentive, enabling maximum land use for increased production.

 

Advantages:

  1. Maximizes land use for increased production.
  2. Allows large-scale farming depending on land size.
  3. Can be used as security for obtaining loans.

 

   Disadvantages:

  1. Ownership challenges can arise.
  2. Disagreements among family members over such gifts.

 

  1. State or Government Ownership:

In this system, land is owned by the state or government, and individuals on the land are tenants. While it ensures effective government control, excessive bureaucratic control may hinder individual initiative and lead to political abuses.

 

Advantages:

  1. Effective government control of land ownership.
  2. Government can earn revenue by leasing out land.
  3. Encourages government investment in land.

 

   Disadvantages:

  1. Excessive bureaucratic control hinders individual initiative.
  2. Monopolistic power over the land.
  3. Tenants may lease land for profit, hindering agricultural development.

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