Socio-Legal Aspects of Contract-Farming: An Overview of Kenyan Case Studies.
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Contract-farming has become a fairly common feature of agricultural production in Kenya. It is found in many parts of the country and in the production of a wide variety of crops. These crops include cashew-nuts at the Coast; sugarcane in Western, Nyanza and Coast Provinces; French beans in Eastern and western Provinces; tobacco in Eastern Province; tea in Rift Valley Province cotton in Nyanza Province, and oil-seed in Rift Valley and Eastern Provinces amongst others. This article analyses contract-farming agreements in relation to five different crops spread all over the country, mainly by large companies. The first part introduces brief contract-farming as a general and historical phenomenon. The second part looks at contract-farming in the context of Kenya and focuses on the contractual relationship between the relevant companies and small-holder farmers — or peasants. The third part reviews this relationship in the light of certain economic and legal arguments.