West Pokot County government has issued at least 2,083 title deeds to farmers in Pokot south constituency. Speaking while officially handing over the title deeds to the beneficiaries, area Governor John Lonyangapuo said the title deeds will help spur development in the region since farmers will be able to take loans.
Lonyangapuo said since independence only 10% of the total population in the county had title deeds and this had hampered development in the region. The Governor said they decided to demarcate the land and issue title deeds so that residents can own land individually.
He said the County is working with elders for the community to certify true owners of the land. He asked farmers not to sell the land at a throwaway price for their own selfish interests. “Brokers are going to emerge in this region to lure people to sell their land and prices are going to rise. We should not accept to be cheated by the brokers,” he said.
He said the region is the food basket of the county and asked residents to heavily invest in farming so that they can produce food for both home consumption and surplus for sale. “If we start selling land in small units production will fall since the number of acreage under farming will reduce,” he said.
South Pokot Sub County produces pyrethrum of the highest content in the world, potatoes farming, dairy farming, and wool. “The title deeds will enable you to access loans since it will act as security before being issued with loans. This is going to enable farmers to purchase farm equipment thus increasing productivity,” he said.
One of the beneficiaries, Samuel Losialima thanked the County administration for issuing them with the title deeds since for many years since independence they had no right of ownership to their lands. “Since independence, we had no official document to show that we legally own this farmer but with this document, nobody will threaten to take off our land,” he said.
The West Pokot Governor also condemned the killing of livestock in Laikipia County by police officers. He asked the government to compensate affected families since they are vulnerable to poverty. “Livestock is their source of livelihood. The government should compensate those whose animals were killed to enable them to provide for their families” he said.