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    Land ownership ranges from individual ownership to communal ownership. In the individual ownership system, land is held by the family who can farm on it, build on it, pledge it for money or sell it.

    In communal ownership system, the land belongs to the community which may be an extended family, a village or a town and no member of the community can use the land against the wishes of the rulers of the community. Only annual crops can be planted on this piece of land.


    Land tenure is defined as the system of land ownership or acquisition either by individual, family, and community or government agency either for temporary or permanent use.It is also the body of right and relationship established among men to control and use land.


    1. COMMUNAL LAND TENURE: This is a traditional ownership of land whereby land is generally regarded as the property of the community. Every member of the community has the right to use the land for agriculture but cannot sell any part of it since it is regarded as a legacy that should not be sold.


    1. Each member of the community has the opportunity to request for farm land to provide food and earn some money for his family.
    2. Co-operative farming is possible since the land is extensive.
    • Large scale farming is possible due to its large size if only community members co-operate.
    1. It is easier to transfer the land to a prospective farmer since individual attachment is almost absent.


    1. Inadequate maintenance of soil fertility.
    2. Non-members of the community cannot have access to the land for farming.
    • There is usually lack of co-operation among community members if the land is to be used for large scale farming.
    1. It leads to fragmentation of land into small and scattered units.
    2. Perennial crops cannot be planted because of possible re-allocation of land to another person.
    3. Mechanization is difficult to introduce because farm lands are scattered and small.
    • It cannot be used as security to obtain loans from banks.




    This is the type of land tenure in which land is inherited from one’s parents or from one generation to another.


    1. The land can be used as security to obtain loans from bank.
    2. The owner prefers to invest on the land to improve its fertility for agricultural production.
    • Mechanized farming can be practiced if the land is large enough.
    1. Perennial crops can be planted.


    1. It leads to land fragmentation since the land is divided among many children.
    2. Mechanized farming cannot be practiced on small plots of land.
    • Sharing of land can bring about dispute among family members.
    1. Land may belong to people who have no interest in land development or in making the fullest use of the land.


    1. What is land tenure system?
    2. State the types of land tenure system we have in Nigeria.


    Types of Land Tenure

    1. LEASE HOLD TENURE: This is a situation in which the farmer is allowed by the land owner to work on a piece of land for a fixed length of time under stipulated conditions. Certain amount of money is paid as rent for the use of the land. At the expiration of the period of tenancy, the land reverts to the landowner or the agreement may be reviewed if the landlord so desires.



    1. The land is efficiently used.
    2. Easy accessibility of land is possible compared to land in communal ownership.
    • There is no time wasting to acquire or leave the piece of land.
    1. The owner of the piece of land can earn more money.


    1. It cannot be used as security to obtain loans from banks.
    2. The user may not be encouraged to plant perennial crops on a piece of land.
    • It can bring disputes between the tenant and the owner.
    1. It affects long term planning.



    This is the type of land tenure in which land is donated or given out on good will or free of charge in appreciation or as an incentive.


    1. It ensures the maximum use of the land for increased production.
    2. Large scale farming can be practiced depending on the size of the land.
    • It can be used as security to obtain loans.


    1. The ownership of land can be challenged at anytime.
    2. There may be disagreement over such gifts among family members.



    In this system, land belongs to the state or government and persons working or living on the land are tenants of the government. This system makes for effective government control of land and use but it may be subject to excessive bureaucratic control which may hinder individual initiative and give room to political abuses.


    1. There is effective government control of land ownership in this system.
    2. The government can earn more money leasing out the land.
    • It encourages government investment on the land.


    1. The system encourages bureaucratic control which may hinder individual initiative and lead to political abuses.
    2. There is monopolistic power over the land as the tenant may not be able to use the land according to their wish.
    • Tenants may tend to lease the piece of land to other people in order to make some money which may hinder development of agriculture.



    We have learnt that land tenure is the body of rights and relationships established among men to control and use land. Types of land tenure include communal, inheritance, free gift, leasehold tenure, and state or government ownership of land.



    1. Define land tenure system.
    2. State the types of land tenure system in Nigeria.
    3. List out three advantages and three disadvantages of communal land tenure.
    4. Which land tenure system is most prominent in Nigeria and why?
    5. Which land tenure system promotes perennial crop cultivation and why?



    1. A major disadvantage of land tenure by inheritance is that the land is. A. very infertile for crop and animal production.     B.  usuallysmall for commercial farming       C. too large for commercial farming             D. available for large scale mechanization
    2. Which of the following factors largely determines the amount of land available for agriculture in an area? A. cash crop tenancies B.climatic and physical factor C. biotic factors D. religion and tradition.
    3. The commonest method of land tenure in Nigeria is ………….. A. inheritance         B. lease C. outright purchase D. state allocation.
    4. A piece of land is said to be on lease to a farmer when the land is             A. inherited from his father B. given to him as a gift C. given as compensation D. given for a specified period on a rental basis.
    5. Land tenure system is a process of ……………… A. conserving soil types B. determining the suitability of soil for agriculture C. acquiring land for agricultural purpose    D. developing land for building industries.


    1. State five land ownership systems in Nigeria.
    2. .Explain four ways in which agricultural production is affected by communal ownership of land in Nigeria.


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