This study empirically assessed the effects of land lease market on crop production in Enugu State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to: describe the socio-economic characteristics of crop farmers; identify the land tenure systems available in the study area; identify and describe the structure and conducts of land lease market; ascertain factors influencing land lease market; determine the influence of land lease forms and practices adopted by farmers on their net farm income; and identify the constraints facing farmers participation in land lease market. The study was guided by the following null hypotheses: socio- economic characteristics of crop farmers do not significantly affect farmers participation in land lease market; and land lease forms adopted by farmers do not significantly affect their net farm income. A multistage simple random sampling technique was used in the selection of the respondents. Data for the study were collected from a sample of 120 crop farmers whose responses were sought on the type of land tenure systems, structure and conducts of land lease market and constraints facing them in participating in land lease market through the use of well structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, logit regression model, multiple regression model and likert scale rating technique were employed in data analysis. The study revealed that majority (63.3%) of farmers in the study area fell within 50 years and below which is an active age for farming activities. Educational attainments of the respondents were mostly secondary and tertiary education. About 75% of the respondents were married and 74.2% of them were males, while 78.35% had a household size of ten persons and less. The study further showed that 67.5% of the respondents had communal land tenure system while 68.3% participated in other forms of land lease market with fixed rental market being a dominant form of land lease market. Furthermore, logit regression analysis indicated that farm size, transaction cost and farming experience were found to have played significant role in influencing farmers ’ participation in land lease market. Multiple regression result showed that area of land rented, share of output, cost of input and educational level were significant in determining the influence of land lease forms and practices on farmers’ net farm income. High transaction cost, unavailability of land, crop failure, distance of land from home, fear of family intervention, lack of security, and poor land improvement were identified as the major constraints faced by crop farmers in participating in land lease market. The study therefore, recommended that a good tenancy system be developed to guarantee adequate security of tenure to the occupants (the person actually cultivating the land). This will no doubt, contribute to both agricultural development and land resource conservation.

1.1      Background Information
The land of any nation is the most valuable natural resource. It supports all human activities and it is from it that all other economic resources are derived (Olusola, 2011) .More still, the economies of all countries, no matter their status are bound up with the land, for all countries exist through direct or indirect exploitation of land in one or more forms. This assertion holds with even more force for Nigeria where at least 70 percent of the working population is dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood (Famoriyo, 1979).

Land is a fundamental factor of production in the agricultural sector. It has an essential role to play in increasing as well as sustaining agricultural production. The extent to which this role is performed is determined in part by methods of land acquisition and arrangements for the ownership, control and use of land (Arua and Okorji, 1997).
In developing countries, land can be acquired through various ways ranging from inheritance, lease and purchase. Inheritance which is an aspect of customary land tenure syste` m is related to family and is based on the concept of group ownership of absolute rights in land, with individuals acquiring usufructuary rights. Customary land rights establish the basis for access to land resources and the opportunity to use the land for productive purposes (Famoriyo, 1980). Under this system, each individual member of land holding family is entitled to a portion of land enough to feed himself and members of his family. Lease on the other hand means a contract by which one party lets land, property, etc to another for a specified time.

Arua and Okorji (1997) noted that the most common mode of land acquisition in eastern Nigeria is through inheritance, followed by leasing or purchase in some areas and pledging in others. Acquisition through gift is less common, and even less common is acquisition through marriage or borrowing. In a community, the right to inherit land is the major form of social security. Land acquisition by inheritance is usually patrilineal, but in rear cases a matrilineal system is practiced. The amount of land inherited depends on position in the family and number of wives and brothers. In monogamous families, the eldest son (Okpara) has a preferential allocation of land and inherits his father’s home as a new head. Consequently, as population increases, land fragmentation occurs to the level that in most cases, no longer support a meaningful agricultural production.
Land becomes scarce under the impact of population growth and agricultural commercialization. Rights in land are increasingly individualized along two dimensions, namely the range of rights held and the extent of autonomy afforded by the landholder in exercising these rights. Individualization along the first dimension involves the gradual extension of use rights (for example, the increasing recognition of the rights to plant trees and to bring other improvements to the land) and the addition of transfer rights (Jean-Marie, Frederie, Frank & Jean- Philippe, 1999). The right to rent out or to sell land parcels are seriously circumscribed by the requirement that land ought to remain within the family or lineage. At first, sales were sanctioned only among members of the group of common descent or residence, later to outsiders with approval of the group or its head ,still later without such consent.( Bruce 1986).

According to John and Marcel (2001), the means of acquiring access to land are land gifts, fixed rental and sharecropping. Gift fields are given free of any explicit charges for an indefinite period. Gift lands are usually provided by relatives, often parents providing land to newly married children. Although, there is no explicit charge, many tenants contribute labour to the land owner.....

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