Agricultural Change Among the Keiyo of Elgeyo-Marakwet County, 1894-1990
Tum, Methusella Kipkemei
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This study focused on agricultural change among the Keiyo of Elgeyo-Marakwet County in the period between 1894- 1990. It examined the pre-colonial era in order to determine the Keiyo people’s knowledge about their agriculture and to help bring out the changes that came in with the advent of colonialism. The study examines how the capitalist economy established by British colonialism altered the pre-existing modes and relations of production in Keiyo. By analyzing the changes that transpired during the colonial and post colonial period, the research hoped to provide hints of solving the present challenges facing the economy of the Keiyo. The study intended to achieve a number of objectives , for instance; to give an account of the agricultural practices of the Keiyo prior to colonial rule, give an analysis of the agricultural changes that took place in Keiyo during the colonial period, identify and evaluate the responses of the Keiyo people to colonial agriculture and examine the relationship between the Keiyo’s indigenous pre-capitalist economy and the colonial capitalist economy and finally to provide an analysis of the agricultural changes from independence to 1990. Underdevelopment theory was utilized in the study to analyze the penetration of colonial capitalism in Keiyo’s pre-capitalist economic system. Articulation concept was applied to link the two modes of production in regards to the ownership of means of production such as land, labour and tools as well as technology. Qualitative research design was adopted. Being a historical study, purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to sample the intended population/sample that was believed to posses the required information. The study utilized both primary and secondary data sources. Oral data was collected from informants in Elgeyo-Marakwet County whereas archival materials at the Kenya National Archives were also consulted. The findings will be of value to economic Historians in understanding trends, challenges and social economic impact of agricultural changes of the Keiyo in the period 1894-1990.