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Institutional Continuity and Change: A century of smallholders' water rights in Meru, Tanzania

Hillbom, Ellen LU (2010) African Studies Association UK, Biennial Conference
Abstract
In the late 19th century Meru smallholders established the first irrigation furrows on Mount Meru, Tanzania with the intent to prolong farming seasons and improve harvests. Soon neighbouring estate holders followed suit. Since then there has been a continuous construction of furrows by both smallholders and estates in the area. Smallholders’ furrows were from the onset managed as de facto communal property with private user right, while estate furrows were privately owned. Over the whole period, and especially during the last half century, population increase has caused land scarcity, which has encouraged a general intensification of farming methods. The continuous push to keep up production on decreasing plots has made irrigation more... (More)
In the late 19th century Meru smallholders established the first irrigation furrows on Mount Meru, Tanzania with the intent to prolong farming seasons and improve harvests. Soon neighbouring estate holders followed suit. Since then there has been a continuous construction of furrows by both smallholders and estates in the area. Smallholders’ furrows were from the onset managed as de facto communal property with private user right, while estate furrows were privately owned. Over the whole period, and especially during the last half century, population increase has caused land scarcity, which has encouraged a general intensification of farming methods. The continuous push to keep up production on decreasing plots has made irrigation more important today than ever before. Land scarcity has been accompanied by water scarcity translating into economic constraints that in turn have caused legal conflicts between the two parallel property right systems. Despite institutional and technological change as well as changes in relative prices of factors of production, property rights governing smallholder furrows have been characterised by continuity. The aim of the paper is to map and explain driving forces behind this institutional continuity. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
sub-Saharan Africa, irrigation, Tanzania, property rights
conference name
African Studies Association UK, Biennial Conference
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3d606642-ae9b-4224-8258-a13ce53c2312 (old id 1700768)
date added to LUP
2010-10-29 13:56:32
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:09:26
@misc{3d606642-ae9b-4224-8258-a13ce53c2312,
  abstract     = {In the late 19th century Meru smallholders established the first irrigation furrows on Mount Meru, Tanzania with the intent to prolong farming seasons and improve harvests. Soon neighbouring estate holders followed suit. Since then there has been a continuous construction of furrows by both smallholders and estates in the area. Smallholders’ furrows were from the onset managed as de facto communal property with private user right, while estate furrows were privately owned. Over the whole period, and especially during the last half century, population increase has caused land scarcity, which has encouraged a general intensification of farming methods. The continuous push to keep up production on decreasing plots has made irrigation more important today than ever before. Land scarcity has been accompanied by water scarcity translating into economic constraints that in turn have caused legal conflicts between the two parallel property right systems. Despite institutional and technological change as well as changes in relative prices of factors of production, property rights governing smallholder furrows have been characterised by continuity. The aim of the paper is to map and explain driving forces behind this institutional continuity.},
  author       = {Hillbom, Ellen},
  keyword      = {sub-Saharan Africa,irrigation,Tanzania,property rights},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Institutional Continuity and Change: A century of smallholders' water rights in Meru, Tanzania},
  year         = {2010},
}