Some economic arithmetic of poverty: preliminary farm data from Bukura and Shitoli sub-locations of Kakamega District, Western Kenya.
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This paper reports initial findings on the structure of productive resources that are found on small farms in two sub-locations of Kakamega District, Kenya. The report is part of a larger and on-going study which aims at identifying profitable production techniques that would significantly raise labour productivity and farm incomes in Kenya's small-scale agriculture. This portion of the study concentrates on the stocks of available resources rather than flows of services from these resources. The latter aspect is the focus of the study in progress. The analysis of the preliminary data gives an insight into the widespread poverty in the area. It is shown that the effective labour stock is insufficient to provide adequate subsistence for farm families as well as a significant surplus for sale. In addition, farm tools in use not only reflect a very low level of technology, but they are also quantitatively and qualitatively inadequate. Thus the joint technology/ labour constraint ensures a severe degree of poverty.