Agricultural Transformation in Nyamira County, Kenya; 1945-2002
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The study focused on agricultural transformation in Nyamira County between 1945 and 2002.The study objectives included process of agricultural transformation and policies during the onset of the Second World War, drivers of agricultural transformation in the County since 1945.The study also examined the social-economic effects of agricultural transformation between 1979 and 2002.The year 1945 was important to the study because after the Second World War, for the first time in history there was a deliberate attempt by the colonial government to resuscitate agriculture following negative socio - economic effects of the war. Therefore, it marked a watershed and provided basic historical background information on agricultural development in Kenya and on the topic of study. The research ended in the year 2002, when Kenya witnessed the lowest level of economic development characterized by poor performance of the agricultural sector. The study was guided by one, articulation of modes of production theory which explain that two or more modes of production emerge to co-exist. The two combined to form a mixed economy which was exploitative in nature particularly to African farmers. The other theory used was dependency and underdevelopment which elucidate that resources flow from the ‘periphery’ the poor and underdeveloped states to a ‘core’ of wealth states, enriching the latter at the expense of the former. Here, the poor states were improvised by the rich as their economy was integrated into the world system. The research adopted a descriptive design and historical approach because it sought to probe the experiences of peasants in the agricultural sector in the area of study. The research used primary sources of data which included use of archival and oral evidence. The study also marshalled secondary materials in libraries and internet sources. The study population included the five sub- counties of the County and findings were analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Some of the key findings of the study included the confirmation that agricultural changes have been taking place from the advent of European colonial economy. However, it was also found that there were no special incentive packages to motivate farmers to engage in meaningful agriculture. Weak producer cooperatives worsened the situation on the ground because of mismanagement and corruption among other factors. Notwithstanding that, the sector created some meaningful socio-economic impacts in the society. The findings will be of great value to social and economic historians in understanding trends, drivers, and socio-economic impacts of agricultural transformation in the County.