In the developed countries less than 20 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture. The rest is employed in the industrial sector. In the underdeveloped countries less than 10 per cent of the population is employed in the industrial sector and the rest is engaged in agriculture. At once this dictates that, for some time to come, the route to development in the latter countries will depend on agriculture, which also mainly depends on land policy and tenure. The land question is a contradiction in land rights and consequential social, economic and political abuses replicated on it. In Mbarara District, this constitutes the contradiction between community-observed land rights and legal land rights. Here, several constraints stand in the way of agricultural development; and one such constraint is the nature of land tenure, in which land hoarding, gazetted by both state and individuals continues to flourish, thus fettering production1Although landlords in Uganda were a creation of colonial state, as a result of 1900 Buganda Agreement (Mamdani, 1976), more landlords have been created by the political, economic and social-legal regimes of the post-1900 Buganda Agreement. Notable among them is the 1975 Land Reform Decree, which turned customary owners into tenants at the will of the state (Mamdani, 1984). This resulted in the political and bureaucratic elite acquiring land title claims to these former customary lands. This land is in most cases, hoarded as security against inflation, or for prestige and speculation.
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