Nearly 60% of Swazi territory is publicly held by the crown in the trust of the Swazi nation. Despite the territories being held in trust by the crown, the land is still distributed to the people by a “chief” who governs municipalities and distributes land to citizens based on their requests and needs. Citizens have no right to sell this land but are allowed to grow and sell crops and livestock, build homes or lease the land to other farmers without having to pay any taxes to the government.
YEF leases are legally bound through a flexible agricultural lease agreement form legitimized by a Swazi attorney according to Swazi agricultural legal policies. Leasing is an effective method to access agricultural land for YEF, however is no more suitable than an outright purchase of the land which can occur on the remaining 40% of land called Title Deed Land (TDL). Title Deed Land is privately owned by Swazi citizens and foreign investors with nearly half of it being owned by Europeans and the rest being owned by the Swazi government or state bodies. Over 60% of freehold land is equipped with proper irrigation which is obviously an advantage for agricultural purposes. TDL parcels of land are also generally larger than SNL parcels, and thus may provide more opportunity for future expansion.
Under the circumstances where land is available for purchase, YEF will consider purchasing the land based on a cost benefit analysis comparison between leasing or purchasing.