A Review of the Causes of Land Use Conflicts Between Farmers and Pastoralists in Tanzania and a Proposal for Resolutions

Method Julius Gwaleba (Ardhi University)

Article ID: 389

DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jesr.v2i1.389


Land use conflicts are complex disputes that contribute at large in terms of negative social and economic impacts within the heterogeneous societies. The mechanisms of success for land use conflict resolution still need further research because of various mindsets of the people. In this paper, the issues of land conflicts between farmers and pastoralists in Tanzania mainland which could lead to low economic development are reviewed and the general causes and effects of land use conflicts are outlined. Poor land governance, inappropriate of land use plans, inadequate land policies, land tenure insecurity, corruption and population increases are cited as being among of the main offenders fuelling land use conflicts in Tanzania.


As pastoralists move across the country with large herds of hungry livestock in search of pastures and water, the livestock are randomly led into farms where they forage on whatever crops that may be in sight. Angered farm owners (farmers) often take the law into their hands and fight the invaders. Armed fights erupt resulting to human and livestock deaths, destruction of crops and homesteads, fear and poverty.

Since a National Land Policy (NLP) is a key instrument for, among other things, land management and administration, land use planning, conflict resolution, and a stable land tenure security, both the countrywide lack of land use plans in the rural areas, and the (now) outdated National Land Policy of 1995 are brought in focus in line with the recurring land conflicts between farmers and pastoralists.

The paper provides the case of how Mediation-Arbitration (MED-ARB) approach can be used in solving land conflicts between farmers and pastoralists. Based on the various studies that have been undertaken and the recommendations made on this issue, the authors propose MED-ARB as the optimal way to put in place sustainable curative measures of land conflicts


Land, Farmers, Pastoralists, Land Use conflict, Resolution, Tanzania

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