6.4.3 Land Market Regulations

In most countries, land markets are only partly regulated. There are stipulations for recording changes in ownership and sometimes lease as well. Inheritance and mortgages are usually registered. But there is a great difference between the legal requirements and that which is actually done. Often, registers are not up to date. It is noteworthy that the requirements cover mostly facts which are of interest to a colonial administration intent on collecting taxes and maintaining law and order.

The regulations concerning the transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes are very few and often weak as they allow special permissions to be applied for. The situation concerning the transfer of land to non-agriculturists is similar.

While the owners are usually forbidden an obvious misuse of land that would damage its fertility, there is no 'code of land use' limiting excesses in cultivation which have damaging effects on the environment such as excessive fertilization, misapllication of chemicals, etc. So far, such influence is only exercised by regulations concerning the quality of products and not by limitations of land use rights.