The National Land Commission (NLC) has revealed that only one percent of women in the Country own land legally.
The Commission says the low percentage ownership is due to cultural believes and weak policies with experts warning that the trend poses a major threat to the Country’s food security.
This even as it emerged that land for farming has declined as demand for housing has pushed investors into real estate.
According to Professor James Tuitoek a commissioner with National Land Commission, there is an urgent need to address the anomaly in terms of land ownership.
He said the commission is undertaking an intensive study to establish the issues around land ownership before making its recommendations.
“Currently only one percent of women in the Country who are involved in farming own land and there is need to address this anomaly,” he said.
Tuitoek noted that there is need to enact friendly policies to protect women so that they could also own land as per the constitution.
He was speaking in Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha during a workshop on land and governance organized by FAO and ActionAid.
“We have done a study on formulation of land and food security in the country and we are working with Counties to control mushrooming of informal settlements,” he said.
FAO Country-representative Dr Tobias Takavarasha noted that if land owned by women is increased by one percent, the Country would record a major improvement in food production.
He noted that women across the continent are disadvantaged in terms of land ownership a move he termed as a major threat to food production.
“We are challenging the Government and other partners to address this issue as women are highly regarded in terms of food production,” he said.
On sub-division of land meant for food production, Takavarasha attributed this to the rise in rural-urban migration which has resulted in an increase in demand for houses.
“There is need for the authorities to protect land meant for food production as failure to do this could lead to shortage of food in the coming years,” he said.
Kitasi Wanga from ActionAid, said that they are seeking more data on land ownership among women.
“In some Counties like Taita Taveta the issue of women owning land mainly in settlement schemes is been addressed and we should address the distribution again,” he said.