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Nyasaland (Husbandry And Marketing)

Volume 527: debated on Wednesday 5 May 1954

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55.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies how much of the 300,000 acres of the land bought by the Nyasaland Government, following the recommendations of the Abrahams Commission, has been so far allocated to Africans; the terms of this allocation; and what steps the Agricultural Department are taking to ensure good husbandry and co-operative marketing.

All the land to which the hon. Member refers is available for Africans and most of it was, in fact, already heavily settled at the time of its acquisition. In most areas the land acquired is treated as public land, but it is intended that when areas are fully occupied and developed they should revert to African trust land. As regards agricultural measures on the land acquired, concentration of huts permitting economic land usage and contour bunding has been completed or is under way; planting of useful trees is being encouraged; 35 successful boreholes have been sunk; hillside and stream banks are being protected; land is being demarcated to allow of alternate cultivation and fallow; and many miles of track have been made or improved to permit easy access and extraction of produce.No steps have been taken to introduce co-operative marketing since adequate alternative co-operative arrangements already exist through the Produce Co-operative Board and the African Tobacco Board.