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  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Tegemeo's Director Dr. Miltone Ayieko welcomes participants to the five day training, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Tegemeo's MLE Unit Director introduces participants to the five day training, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Dr Rosern Rwampororo, one of the trainers, takes the participants through the laid out course content, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Participants during interactive sessions, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Participants during interactive sessions, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Participants during interactive sessions, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Dr. Tesfaye Beshah, one of the trainers, takes the participants through the laid out course content, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Participants during interactive sessions, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Course on Monitoring Learning & Evaluation

    Participants group photo, 9-13 Oct 2017

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Participants at the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Participants at the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Participants at the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Tegemeo Director Dr. Miltone Ayieko addresses journalists during the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Tegemeo Director Dr. Miltone Ayieko addresses journalists during the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Kevin Onyango, Tegemeo Research Associate addresses participants of the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Dr. Dennis Otieno, Tegemeo's Research Fellow addresses participants of the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    ANNUAL COP SURVEY RELEASED, 5th October 2017

    Dr. Tim Njagi, Tegemeo's Research Fellow addresses participants of the breakfast forum held to share the 2017/2018 cropping year Cost Of Production Findings

  • Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    The Memorandum Of Understanding creates a framework for collaboration that will improve research and analysis of agricultural trade, policy and advocacy.

  • Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    The Memorandum Of Understanding creates a framework for collaboration that will improve research and analysis of agricultural trade, policy and advocacy.

  • Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    The Memorandum Of Understanding creates a framework for collaboration that will improve research and analysis of agricultural trade, policy and advocacy.

  • Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    The Memorandum Of Understanding creates a framework for collaboration that will improve research and analysis of agricultural trade, policy and advocacy.

  • Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    Tegemeo Signs MOU with EAGC, 3rd July 2017

    The Memorandum Of Understanding creates a framework for collaboration that will improve research and analysis of agricultural trade, policy and advocacy.

  • Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Part of Tegemeo staff take part in the exhibition at the Egerton University 11th International Conference, 29th-31st March 2017, Njoro Nakuru

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo Institute's Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) - Unit hosts a Social Networking Event at the Conference

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Guests have a good time at the Social Networking Event hosted by Tegemeo Institute's Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) - Unit

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    The MLE unit team welcomes Dr. Florence Etta at the social dinner hosted by Tegemeo Institute's Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) - Unit

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo Institute's Measurement Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Unit hosts a pre-conference workshop on Agricultural Data & Technology use, Kampala, Uganda Conference Dates - 27th–31st March, 2017

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Dr. Mercy Kamau- Director MLE unit giving a synopsis of the of the Institute MLE agenda during the Social Networking Dinner

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo Institute's Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) Unit hosts a pre-conference workshop on Agricultural Data & Technology use, Kampala, Uganda Conference Dates - 27th – 31st March, 2017

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Media interviews the Director, Tegemeo Institute during the Social Dinner hosted by the Institutes MLE Unit

  • Dr. Mary Mathenge Director Tegemeo @ NMG Forum

    Dr. Mary Mathenge Director Tegemeo @ NMG Forum

    Tegemeo Institute took part at the Inaugural Food Security and Water Nation Media Group Leadership Forum, 3rd April 2017

  • Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Egerton University VC Prof Rose Mwonya opens the 11th International Conference, 29th-31st March 2017, Njoro Nakuru

  • Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Tegemeo @ Egerton University 11th Conference

    Tegemeo's Kevin Onyango presents at the 11th International Conference, 29th-31st March 2017, Njoro Nakuru Tegemeo Institute took part at the Egerton University 11th International Conference, 29th-31st March 2017

  • Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo @ 8th AfrEA International Conference

    Tegemeo Institute's Measurement, Learning & Evaluation (MLE) - Unit hosts a pre-conference workshop on Agricultural Data & Technology use, Kampala, Uganda Conference Dates - 27th – 31st March, 2017

  • Tegemeo hosts Ella Workshop, 16th March 2017

    Tegemeo hosts Ella Workshop, 16th March 2017

    The Workshop focused on Land Tenure and Sustainable Pastoralist Systems and was held in Ololulung'a, Narok County

  • Tegemeo hosts Ella Workshop, 16th March 2017

    Tegemeo hosts Ella Workshop, 16th March 2017

    David Muntet, a pastoralist and beneficially of the ELLA Study Tour held in November 2016 shares lessons and experiences with the workshop participants.

  • Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Theme: Enhancing Smallholder Productivity in Kenya: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of New Seed Varieties, 8th February, 2017

  • Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Conference Theme: Enhancing Small-holder Productivity in Kenya: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of New Seed Varieties

  • Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Tegemeo Hosts Seed Conference, 8th February 2017

    Conference Theme: Enhancing Small-holder Productivity in Kenya: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial of New Seed Varieties

  • Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Egerton University VC Prof. Rose Mwonya flags off the university staff race

  • Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Egerton University VC Prof. Rose Mwonya Crosses the finishing line

  • Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Tegemeo at the Mau - Egerton Cross Country 2017

    Part of the Tegemeo Staff Team at the "Run for the Mau Event"

  • Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Conference theme: “Anticipating Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Pathways in the Context of Climate Change: Lessons from the Current Regional Drought”

  • Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Conference theme: “Anticipating Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Pathways in the Context of Climate Change: Lessons from the Current Regional Drought”

  • Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts 3rd Annual ReNAPRI Conference 2016

    Conference theme: “Anticipating Africa’s Agricultural Transformation Pathways in the Context of Climate Change: Lessons from the Current Regional Drought”

  • TEGEMEO COST OF PRODUCTION ASSESMENT 2016

    TEGEMEO COST OF PRODUCTION ASSESMENT 2016

    Establishing Cost of Rice Production Year 2015

  • Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts Breakfast Meeting on the Competitiveness of Key Food Staples in Kenya: Role of Production Costs and Pricing, 10 October 2016

  • Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts Breakfast Meeting on the Competitiveness of Key Food Staples in Kenya: Role of Production Costs and Pricing, 10 October 2016

  • Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Cost of Production Assessment 2016

    Tegemeo Hosts Breakfast Meeting on the Competitiveness of Key Food Staples in Kenya: Role of Production Costs and Pricing, 10 October 2016

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development is a policy research institute under the Division of Research and Extension of Egerton University.

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Communal land tenure can improve pastoral livelihoods

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In Kenya, 67% of the total land is under communal land tenure, and supports about a quarter of the country’s population (10 million persons) and 70% of the livestock population. A large majority of these lands are characterised by arid and semi-arid conditions such as high temperatures and low rainfall. As such they have been inhabited by pastoral communities who practise extensive livestock production systems that are well-suited to these conditions. These communities have used communal land tenure to manage the lands. Communal land tenure systems not only facilitate this type of livestock keeping but also play a key role in determining the social, economic and political status of pastoral communities.

From the colonial period, pastoralism has been misunderstood by the authorities. The colonial government implemented land policies such as the East African Royal Commission 1953-1955 and the Swynnerton Plan of 1954, which advocated for individualisation and privatisation of land tenure. They viewed pastoralism as retrogressive, inefficient, and did not lead to investment in land. Instead private land tenure was seen as the best form of promoting investment in land and improving productivity. They argued that private and individual tenure was a key step towards improving environmental conservation, reducing herd size and improving livestock breeds, thereby improving productivity and livelihoods.

The post-independence government maintained these policies and further, the Lawrence Report of 1966 recommended privatisation of land tenure in pastoral areas. With support from donors, the government in the 1960s and 1970s established group ranches starting in the now Kajiado County, before spreading out to other Maasai lands i.e. Narok and Laikipia Counties and further to other pastoral communities. Although the formation of group ranches was inconsistent with the pastoral communities cultural norms of land ownership and access, for example, the Maasai believed that land was a birth right accessible to all, they did not oppose the formation of group ranches mainly because they wanted to protect their ancestral land from “outsiders” and the government also provided additional incentives such as provision of water and disease control. Despite the establishment of group ranches, the communities used customary laws to manage the land. For example, the elders became leaders of the ranches and communities maintained cultural access norms with no restriction on use of land. On the other hand, land that was not adjudicated was held in trust by local governments on behalf of the communities in those locales.

In the 1980s, group ranches started collapsing. The grazing controls and herd quotas envisioned by the government never materialised. Pastoralists kept as many animals as they could. Children in the 1960s had matured to adults with own households in the 1980s and sought to be recognised as members of the ranches. In addition, there was huge pressure to follow what had happened in crop growing areas where the government advanced loans to farmers using land as collateral. Further, most group ranches were mismanaged, with no accountability measures in place. Annual General Meetings were never held and the leaders, who were elders in the community, could not be questioned or held to account for resources in group ranches. Where land was not adjudicated, local governments allocated land to individuals for private use without consulting the community for whom they held the land in trust. Further external pressure such as proximity to urban areas and potential for change in land use catalysed the collapse of group ranches and individualisation of land tenure. In Kadiado County, areas such as Kitengela, Kisaju and Isinya, which were group ranches, became subdivided into individual parcels and were further fragmented to satisfy the demand of land due to expansion of Nairobi city.

Pastoralists are now facing more pressure than before on their land. First, increasing population has led to a decline in the land available as animal herds have remained largely unchanged. There has also been an increase in fragmentation and individualisation of land tenure. Communal lands have been targeted by the government, private sector and other actors for large scale agricultural developments and public sector investments, mineral extraction and other uses. This is because of perceptions that there are low investment in pastoral lands and that they are largely underutilised. Decline in grazing land has exacerbated overgrazing and impeded improvement of livestock, which would have led to improved productivity and incomes for pastoral households. In addition, investments in public goods delivery have also been low in pastoral areas compared to other parts of the country.

Maintenance of collective land tenure provides an opportunity to improve livelihoods in pastoral communities. However, this can only happen if community’s mechanisms to manage land are strengthened. One way of achieving this is by incorporating customary laws in the legal framework. The community land bill, currently in parliament, provides for this. Further, the communities need to be supported through investments in delivery of public goods such as infrastructure, schools, livestock markets and veterinary services. County governments in pastoral areas have a great opportunity to achieve this through use of the equalization funds. Finally, strengthening community’s governance institutions to be transparent and accountable will ensure that pastoral communities are able to manage their land more effectively and efficiently.

Written by Dr. Timothy Njagi – Senior Research Fellow,

Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development, of Egerton University

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