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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Increased agricultural production in the midst of escalating ecological distress: Bungoma District in the 1930s & 1940s
Author:Makana, Nicholas E.ISNI
Periodical:African Economic History
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:agricultural production
agricultural policy
soil management
Abstract:This paper examines agricultural production in Bungoma District, Kenya, in the context of the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Second World War in the 1940s. It shows that from the 1930s, the colonial State increasingly intervened in Kenya's rural agrarian economies through policy measures that were tailored to spur commodity production. While the case study of Bungoma demonstrates that household responses to these measures were positive, the author also argues that the imperative to augment agricultural production generated a counter-theme, namely the threat of soil degradation and the imperative to ensure sustainable production. Faced with this contradiction, the colonial State resorted to paternalism, shifting the blame to what it typified as the individualism of the African commodity producer. The paper shows that cultivators in Bungoma also exhibited recalcitrance towards soil conservation measures due to the influence of anticolonial sentiments propagated by Dini Ya Musambwa, a millennial religious sect which appeared around 1943. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]