Food production in Swaziland follows a dualistic pattern of the land tenure system, namely; the Traditional Tenure System (TCT) and the Title Deed Tenure system (TDT). Land tenure plays a major role in the development and performance of the agricultural sector by influencing land ownership and its use. The Ministry of Agriculture has observed the differential in maize production among the TCT and TDT farmers. The purpose of this study was to empirically establish whether land tenure as an institution contributes to the observed maize productivity differentials among Swazi farmers. Maize as a staple food for the Swazi Nation and used as a measure of food security, was used in the study to present the impacts of land tenure on maize productivity. The study used a purposive sampling technique to obtain a sample of 63 farmers from both TCT and TDT. Data were collected in 2008 from the Manzini region. Data were analyzed using descriptive and recursive regression models. The results confirmed the existence of differentials in maize yields and the size of land holdings between TDT and TCT farming households. Tenure security was found to influence land improvements through access and use of credit, while the level of education influenced the use of credit. Maize productivity was positively influenced by the amount of capital used, while TCT farmers are constrained by finance and land availability. The results further indicated that TDT farmers were highly mechanized, while TCT farmers mainly used livestock to cultivate their land. Therefore, there is a need for the review of the land tenure system in order to clearly and sufficiently define tenure rights on TCT so, as to promote land productivity.
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