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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Perpetuating Underdevelopment in Kenya: The Link between Agriculture, Class and State
Author:Bradshaw, York W.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:social structure
income distribution
agricultural policy
Politics and Government
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524625
Abstract:This paper investigates the interaction between the agricultural sector, the class structure, and the Kenyan State - an interaction that perpetuates underdevelopment in the country. The author argues that there is both intersectoral and intrarural inequality in Kenya. An examination of the structure of landownership and land distribution, and of agricultural prices and capital flows within the Kenyan economy, reveals intrarural inequality. Furthermore, agricultural income is not as high as nonagricultural or urban income, amongst others due to a consistently large net outflow of capital from the agricultural sector. Peasant farmers have been the primary victims of both types of inequality even though they are more efficient and productive than larger farmers. This situation continues despite the fact that some of the worst poverty in Kenya is caused by landlessness and unemployment, both largely attributable to the highly unequal distribution of land. A well-entrenched African elite with strong political connections controls large farms and resists land reform. Kenyan elites are protected by the State and, in some cases, are part of the State. The State encourages an alliance between foreign capital and the local bourgeoisie; the alliance worsens the domestic terms of trade between agriculture and nonagriculture. The patron-client structure of the political system complements the procapitalist system and perpetuates elite domination. This process distributes resources unequally and militates against development of small-scale agriculture. Bibliogr., notes.