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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Feeding the troops: Abeokuta (Nigeria) and World War II
Author:Byfield, Judith A.ISNI
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:market women
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/25427035
Abstract:During the Second World War, the economic crisis which Nigeria had been experiencing due to the worldwide recession continued, but it took different forms as colonial officials restructured the economy to meet the economic and security priorities necessitated by the conflict. Focusing on Abeokuta, this article shows that the war pitted Yoruba market women against different levels of the colonial bureaucracy. Officials tried to obtain commodities, such as rice, below the cost of production and producers tried to resist this exploitation. The struggle over foodstuffs also exposed tensions between distributors. European trading companies, with the support of the colonial State, maintained their hegemonic position in trade. However, they had to strategize against local African authorities who supported African traders. In Abeokuta, small traders were caught between these two power blocks. Market women were vulnerable to the demands of the military and the Food Controller in Lagos and equally vulnerable to the Alake (traditional king) and his agents. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]