How subdividing land into small parcels is hurting agriculture and keeping Kenya in perpetual food crisis

Kenya is an agricultural economy. Even with the advances and aspirations of being a manufacturing-driven economy, agriculture will continue remaining a key component in supplying raw materials, or at least food.

However, it is also not possible to talk of food security without mentioning land tenure which is directly correlated with economies of scale and hence the pricing matrix.

A quick drive through West and Central Kenya shows the extent to which land which has great agricultural potential has been reduced to homes and other investments.

In Kisii, for instance, the average acreage is probably 0.5 acres or less and it keeps reducing. This is not helped by traditional beliefs that one must put up a house on their ancestral land.

Across the developed world, there has been a deliberate effort to prevent uneconomical land subdivisions, and in some cases restrictions on the area of land under houses and other developments in agricultural areas.

Kenya is an agricultural economy. Even with the advances and aspirations of being a manufacturing-driven economy, agriculture will continue remaining a key component in supplying raw materials, or at least food.

However, it is also not possible to talk of food security without mentioning land tenure which is directly correlated with economies of scale and hence the pricing matrix.

A quick drive through West and Central Kenya shows the extent to which land which has great agricultural potential has been reduced to homes and other investments.

In Kisii, for instance, the average acreage is probably 0.5 acres or less and it keeps reducing. This is not helped by traditional beliefs that one must put up a house on their ancestral land.

Across the developed world, there has been a deliberate effort to prevent uneconomical land subdivisions, and in some cases restrictions on the area of land under houses and other developments in agricultural areas.

 

This article first appeared on Business Daily