A preliminary report on group ranching in Narok district
Doherty, Deborah Ann
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This initial report constitutes an effort to provide background data on the technical and administrative measures involved during the implementation of group ranching in Narok District of Kenya Maasailand. As part of this report, I have outlined many of the social, political, and economic constraints impinging on ranch development and briefly examined some of the ways in which the costs and benefits of group ranch development are affecting the interests of various segments of Narok Maasai. Maasai stockowners are, of necessity, making certain adjustments in herd management practices, although these adjustments are not always consistent with the aims of ranch development planners; nor are these adjustments necessarily in the best interests of the Narok Maasai in general. Preliminary investigation shows that, rather than facilitating economic development without disenfranchising large numbers of people, group ranching, together with the introduction of wheat cropping, is stimulating feelings of insecurity among many Maasai herders that they will be eventually forced out of the pastoral economy. This report attempts to delve into the reasons underlying this insecurity by offering ethnographic data concerning inter- and intra-group ranch rivalries; inter-generational conflict; land use controversies; and points out problem areas which I intend to investigate more fully during my period of research tenure in Narok District.