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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Metropolitan concern, colonial State policy and the embargo on cultivation of coffee by Africans in colonial Kenya: the example of Bungoma district, 1930-1960
Author:Makana, Nicholas E.ISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:agricultural policy
colonial period
Abstract:The widespread involvement of African peasant households in the cultivation of coffee in Kenya dates back only to the mid-1950s. However, this late inclusion of African households in coffee cultivation did not imply their lack of enthusiasm to cultivate the crop from an earlier date. On the contrary, European settlers in particular, and some officials of the Department of Agriculture, thwarted the aspirations of African households regarding their being permitted to cultivate coffee. This paper employs archival records to trace the agitation for inclusion in coffee cultivation by African households in colonial Kenya generally. It then treats the specific case of Bungoma district in western Kenya from the 1930s onward. It shows how such agitation conflicted with the interests of European settlers and the policies that were privileged by the Department of Agriculture in African areas within Kenya. When colonial State policy shifted - due to metropolitan and local pressure - in favour of African household involvement in coffee cultivation, the latter proved themselves to be efficient cultivators of the crop. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]