Household resource allocation among the Luhya of east Bunyore: a case study approach
Paterson, Douglas B.
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This paper outlines a plan of research to study how one subgroup of the Abaluhya, the Abanyole, are adapting to the problem of scarce land resources in East Bunyore Location, Kakamega District. Many small farms in East Bunyore, cultivated by the commonly practiced techniques of subsistence agriculture are able to provide only a fraction of the total subsistence requirements of the household. Bunyore households are therefore very much dependent upon cash incomes from wage employment, self-employment, business, or sales of agricultural produce. The research will first investigate the ways in which households have utilized their productive resources of land, labor, and capital in adapting to the current economic conditions of Bunyore and Kenya as a whole. Going beyond these substantive details of resource allocation, the research will be directed towards identifying social and cultural variables (e.g., beliefs and values) which play a significant role in influencing the economic behavior (i.e., decision making) of the people of Bunyore. A case study approach, focusing on a limited number of household units, is suggested as the most appropriate method of obtaining the qualitative data necessary for a study of decision making. A sample of twenty households will be selected from a small but known universe (one village) so as to represent the range of variability of household units. Detailed records of these households' incomes, expenditures, and activities will be maintained and these will form the basis for further questions on decision making.