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Security of tenure and land productivity in Kenya

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The chapter examines the theory that security of tenure leads to higher yields through its effects on credit, inputs, and land improvements. A survey of 406 households in the densely populated Nyeri and Kakanega districts of Kenya was conducted during 1988. The chapter provides an overview of the prevailing land tenure systems in Kenya; describes the patterns of land holdings, modes of acquisition, and land transactions in the study area; examines security of tenure and its relationship to credit, investment in land improvement and land productivity; and examines policy implications. The hypothesis that security of tenure leads to higher yields through its effect on credit, inputs and land improvements was not supported by the evidence. This situation is probably explained by the limited use of land titles in obtaining formal credit: farmers are reluctant to apply for credit because they lack confidence in their ability to repay the loans and fear losing their land

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