Date of Graduation
This study is about how the agrarian economy of peasant households in Bungoma district interacted with the strategies of the colonial state between 1930 and 1960. During this period, the production and exchange systems of peasant households were integrated more forcefully into the mainstream of the colonial capitalist economy and the wider global economy. The policies of the colonial state, environment, and the structure of the market were important variables that exercised an influence on the degree of peasant household receptivity to the forces of agricultural commercialization. Thus whereas the strategies that were devised by the colonial state were tailored to respond to the peculiar needs of the colonial economy during different periods between 1930-1960, peasant household response was also conditioned by the vagaries of the environment such as locust incursions and the prices that prevailed on the market. The study emphasizes, therefore, that the actions of the colonial state, despite their centrality, were not the monolithic agent of agrarian change and rural transformation. Rather, the actions of peasant households had also a critical role to play in shaping the policies and actions of the colonial state. The interplay of these forces is particularly analyzed in the study from 1930-1945 when agrarian policy was influenced by the repercussions of the Great Depression and the exigencies of the Second World War, and 1945-1960 when the core of agrarian policy sought to cope with and confront the challenges of soil degradation and the contradictions of pronounced agricultural commercialization emanating from previous policies that privileged increased productivity. The concepts of innovation, adaptation and commercialization have been employed in the study to analyze and to interpret the interaction that occurred between the strategies of the colonial state on the one hand, and the response of peasant households in Bungoma district on the other hand. The conclusion drawn from the study is that peasant households are not only innovative and adaptable to agrarian changes, they also exhibit a remarkable consciousness towards the forces of the market and overall trends towards agricultural commercialization.
Makana, Nicholas Ekutu, "Changing patterns of indigenous economic systems: Agrarian change and rural transformation in Bungoma district, 1930â€“1960." (2006). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9347.