All land in Tanzania is public land vested in the President as trustee on behalf of all citizens. Land laws in Africa mostly debunk the idea of ownership. Land is a natural endowment that can neither be bought nor sold.
Land tenure system in Tanzania is not based on ownership but on use and access. Since Tanzanians have common rights to land, communal rights override individual rights, which are subsumed to the overall communal good.
In order to ensure proper management, it is necessary to maintain a good land adminstration system and management. It is important to know how much land is occupied by whom and for what purposes and how much land is still left out for further development.
To effectively ensure the security for use and access of the land by smallholder farmers, Mtandao wa Vikundi vya Wakulima Tanzania (MVIWATA) in collaboration with the government authorities of Nyasa District, Ruvuma region had an exercise of sensitizing and providing awareness to smallholder farmers on the importance of customary certificates of rights of occupancy (CCRO).
During the inception of the project, MVIWATA staffs and leaders paid a visit and met with the District Commissioner for Nyasa District Hon, Isabella Chilumba who was accompanied with government officers responsible for land administration.
While giving description of the project before the District Commissioner, Ms Laika Haji, Coordinator for MVIWATA Ruvuma branch said, in collaboration with the government officials the project is being implemented in three villages of Mpepo ward, Nyasa District. She further added that the project will later be extended to villages of Mkali A, Lipingo and Nkalachi of Nyasa District as well as in other Districts.
Tanzania is a country made up largely of smallholder farmers, pastoralists and a few big farmers. Provision of Customary Certificates of Rights of Occupancy (CCROs) ensures that numerous smallholder farmers and pastoralists who constitute the majority of the country’s population are not made landless.
Ensuring smallholder farmers have access and in control of land through provision of CCROs in collaboration with government officials is part of the strategies of MVIWATA to implement its strategic Goal One of “Enhanced land security to smallholder farmers”. To date, MVIWATA has enabled provision of 1769 CCROs to smallholder farmers in Ruvuma region.
As per Mwalimu Nyerere land is one of the four pillars of Tanzania’s development philosophy, which are people, land, good policies and good leadership, the participatory land administration and management through provision of CCROs promotes the best use of land so that land as an investment resource can make the maximum contribution to the country’s development process while avoiding conflicts and misunderstanding.
“THE DEFENDER OF A FARMER IS A FARMER”