Systems of cultivation and land tenure    

Land tenure is an institution, i.e. rules invented by societies to regulate behavior. Rules of tenure define how property rights to land are to be allocated within societies. They define how access is granted to rights to use, control and transfer land as well as associated responsibilities and restraints.

Land tenure amongst the Maasai was communal and no individual owned it. All community members used the land communally. After the coming of the white settlers land tenure in the whole country changed tremendously from communal holding to individual holding in most areas. The various forms of ownership manifested over the years brought new land use pattern, which is currently taking shape.

A large majority of the Marakwet lead a simple rural life characterized by small scale farming. They grow mostly maize, potatoes, beans, etc., in the highlands. They also grow fruits mostly mangoes and oranges.

There is a sophisticated pre-historic water furrow system that supports crop cultivation along the Kerio Valley and is thought to be over 500 years old.

It has been established that may pastoralists are exiting from traditional mobile nomadism and entering into sedentarization while individualization of tenure has opened room for other sedentary communities to enter into communal lands and settle.

Storage and produce preservation

There are various methods of produce storage and preservation. The purpose of preservation is to stop or greatly slow down spoilage of produce. Examples are smoking, drying, slating, etc. All foods begin to spoil after harvesting; therefore, preservation is necessary.

There are temporary storage methods which are quite often associated with the drying of the crop. They assume the function of storage only if the grain is kept beyond the drying period. In aerial storage maize cobs, sorghum, or millet panicles are sometimes tried in bundles which are suspended from tree branches, posts or lines or even inside the house.

Storage or drying floors can be provisional since the grain is exposed to all pests, including domestic animals and weather. Usually it is resorted to only if the producer is compelled to attend to some other task or lack means of transporting the grain to the homestead.

Long-term storage methods for example the use of calabashes, gourds, earthenware pots are mostly used for storing sand and pulse grains such as cow peas.  Having a small opening they can be made hermitic by sealing the walls inside and out with liquid clay and closing the mouth with stiff clay, wooden cork or a maize cob.

There is another method of storage. The produce is stored underground but the challenge is that the inspection of the grain is difficult.