The effect of the Zambian Land tenure system on Agricultural development
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The land tenure system of any given country has a long term impact on the development of the agricultural sector. Hence for developing countries like Zambia which wish to diversify their economies through the promotion of the sector, the land tenure system must be moulded in such a way as to be conducive to agricultural development. Such a moulding, however, and thus the agricultural development, may be achieved only if laws are passed that provide the necessary rules and infrastructures. This is because one of the purposes of law is to achieve development, agricultural development inclusive. Zambia, being a former colony, has a dual legal system comprising of customary laws and imported English laws. During the colonial period, whilst the white settlers introduced English law to apply to them and guide their activities, the indigenous Africans were left to their own native customary laws. As far as land tenure was concerned, therefore, a dual land tenure system was introduced Customary rules of tenure applied to land held by Africans, and on the other hand new land laws were enacted to advance agricultural production by white settlers. When the territory attained independence, the only changes introduced were basically political. Most of the pre-independence laws were inherited by the Government from their predecessors. Since these laws passed during the colonial period had the objectives of promoting the interests of the white settlers and of implementing the colonial Government policy, there is need to review the laws. As regards the customary rules of land tenure, these rules are uncertain due to being unwritten Moreover, although they might have been conducive to traditional landholding, the changes introduced by modern technology and new methods of agricultural production make such rules archaic. Hence the need for the rules to be changed to suit recent developments in the mode of production. Despite the good intentions of the post-independence Government, its legislation has not achieved the objective of controlling land and promoting agricultural production. This is because of ambivalence with regard to customary land tenure and non-implementation of development requirements.
- Law