The Native Land Husbandry Act was a colonial legislation passed in 1951.


The purposes of the Land Husbandry Act, 1951, were:

  1. To regulate conservation measures and ensure good farming practices;
  2. to relate the stocking of each area to its carrying capacity;
  3. to allocate grazing rights to individuals;
  4. to redistribute arable land into compact and economic units, and to register each individual’s holding of land.

Failure of the Act

This failure may be put down to several factors:

  1. lack of recognition of the communal nature of the tribal system, and of the ‘intricate network of relationships’3 which spring there from;
  2. many individuals were deprived by the Act of their right to land,4 but were not given any compensatory form of social security within the urban community;
  3. the Chiefs in many cases resented the loss of their authority to allocate land to individuals;
  4. to the rural African, cattle mean wealth – and de-stocking can easily be portrayed as a lessening of that wealth.