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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contract Cooperatives, and Coercion: The Kerugoya and Karatina Dried Vegetable Project, 1940-47
Author:Castro, Alfonso P.
Periodical:African Rural and Urban Studies
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Labor and Employment
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Abstract:The Dried Vegetable Project (Kenya) was organized during World War II to provide food for Allied troops in East Africa and the Middle East. Thousands of Gikuyu smallholders supplied millions of pounds of vegetables to two dehydration factories operated by the Kenyan Agriculture Department at Kerugoya in present-day Kirinyaga district and Karatina in Nyeri district. The project's innovative features strongly influenced Kenya's postwar agrarian development, including the linkage of smallholders with agroindustries through production contracts, the reliance on irrigation, the setting up of farmer cooperatives, the creation of a specialized extension service, and the promotion of export horticultural crops. In spite of its considerable success, the Dried Vegetable Project ended abruptly after the war, when competing interests and mistrust among the various stakeholders could not be overcome and talks over co-management of the factory broke down. The present case study of the project is based on official reports, project documents, and other records from the Kenya National Archives, as well as interviews in Kirinyaga in 1982-1983 with Ndia and Gichugu Gikuyu elders. Bibliogr.