The Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) has warned Kenyans not to be duped into buying the state corporation’s land in the country.
The parastatal’s board of directors said Wednesday that about 500,000 of its land valued at about Ksh 25 billion at the Coast had been encroached and annexed by unscrupulous land buying companies that have been duping Kenyans into believing that the ADC was selling its land.
“ADC land is not for sale. ADC has not given land, especially in the Coast region, for sale,” Mr. Richard Ngomo, a director with the corporation told journalists at the ADC farm in Sabaki, Malindi Sub County Thursday.
Mr. Ngomo said the board had noted encroachment of ADC land especially within the 1.75 million-acre Galana and Kulalu ranches in Kilifi and Tana River Counties, where he said people had purported that the land was for sale.
ADC Galana Ranch, which is both in Tana River and Kilifi Counties has about 1.5 million acres while ADC Kulalu Ranch in Kilifi County has about 250,000 acres. The directors said both ranches had experienced encroachment.
“Anybody purporting to be selling ADC land is doing so at his own risk,” said and urged members of the public not to fall prey into the hands of fraudsters cheating them that they can avail land at cheap prices.
“Any developer wanting to buy land knows the channels of getting land from private entities, but for public land, as far as ADC is concerned, is not available for disposal at this point in time,” he said.
Mr. Ngomo said the board members had also seen a lot of poaching and illegal charcoal burning activities on ADC ranches at the Coast and directed the Kenya Wildlife service and other government agencies to stop the vices.
He noted that ADC land is public land intended for ensuring food security in the country and that it would be protected at all costs, and that if there is a need for any government institution to request for land for the purposes of food security, the ADC would avail the land through the right channels.
Director Ephantus Murage, the Chairman for Lands, Legal and Partnership Committee in the ADC board, blamed professionals land surveyors for the problem facing ADC land.
“We cannot blame the public and we cannot blame the buyers because they rely on us as professionals,” he said noting, “Immediately a surveyor like me shows you the land you are buying, and I show you some beacons, whether theoretical or have coordinates, automatically you will believe them.”
He advised members of the public wishing to buy land to demand to be provided with coordinates or cadastral map with geo-referencing overlaid with neighbouring cadastral plans before buying the land in question.
“We cannot also blame on people are doing settled on an adjudicated area, because for one for the land to be adjudicated, it must first of all be described with coordinates, gazetted, and this is done by professionals,” he said.
He also urged land buyers especially on land belonging to ADC to compare the market value of the land they are buying and Sh5,000 or Sh10,000 with that of neighbours who have already settled,” he said.
“Compare the prices and also get the person who is selling to you and also tell them to give you the details of the licenced surveyor who surveyed the land because that way, you will not only take to court the person who sold it to you but also the surveyor who did it,” he said.
Mr. Murage, who is a retired Director of Surveys and National and International Boundaries, and who participated in ensuring that the disputed Migingo Island remains in Kenya, advised land buyers to also carry a Geographical Positioning System (GPS) to at least know where they are, thus avoid being cheated.
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