Kenyan agricultural policy: the colonial roots of African smallholder agricultural policy and services
Alila, Patrick O.
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In their attempts to find ways and means of achieving growth and equity objective in national development a major problem which has confronted both intellectuals and practitioners alike is that of unequal regional growth. It is the aim of this paper focusing on differential agricultural policy and services between regions to enhance our understanding of unequal regional growth as having origins in uneven agricultural development. The paper traces the evolution, during the colonial period, of Kenyan agricultural policy and services for African smallholder areas defined as those mainly engaged in subsistence agriculture. In contrast to approaches highlighting in a chronological order for the whole country, instances of policy especially innovations, and those emphasising marketed output for the whole economy the approach used identifies manifestations of policy resulting from attempts by the colonial administration to cope with contingencies brought about by crises such as World War I and II, the Mau Mau Emergency etc. with particular reference to the African areas. Thus it is towards the end of the colonial period, for the most part engineered by crises, that an agricultural policy for these areas emerges out of piecemeal actions on the part of the colonial administration and reactions by Africans. It is a major contention of the paper that the policy has basically remained the same in the post-independence era and is therefore crucial to an understanding of the present functioning of policy and services for the areas in question.