Coping with land scarcity: the pattern of household adaptations in one Luhya community
Paterson, Douglas B.
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This paper presents some preliminary data from a continuing research project concerning the forms of economic adaptation households have adopted in an area of severe land scarcity. Following a discussion of population and land resources in the study area, a single village of East Bunyore Location, Kakamega District, three basic alternative (but not necessarily mutually exclusive) forms of adaptation are considered. The first two forms involve increasing household land resources and making more efficient use of existing land resources. Both emphasize agricultural production as a primary means of support. While these forms are viewed as very important for a limited number of village households, the third form, reliance on non-farm incomes, clearly predominates in the study area. The paper concludes with a brief outline of the direction for future research. The emphasis for the remaining portion of the research will be on the collection of data which will help to explain the pattern of economic adaptations found in the study area. In particular, attention will focus on how community standards of behavior and obligations extending from various beliefs and values held in the community might influence decisions of resource allocation made within the household