The transformation of cattle economy in Rongo division
South Nyanza district, 1900 to 1960
Ndege, George Oduor
This study is an analytical product of archival, oral and library research on the dynamics of cattle economy in Rongo division during the colonial period. The study set out to examine why, how and with what results the pre-colonial. Viability and resourcefulness of cattle economy was eroded under colonialism.
Hence, the thrust of this research was on the economic significance of cattle in the pre-colonial economy of Rongo, the principal forces of change and continuity which moulded that economy during the colonial period and the subsequent response of the local cattle owners and traders to the structural transformation of the cattle economy during the same period.
The study further shows how the performance of cattle 'economy during the colonial period was affected by various problems such as recurrent famines, livestock diseases, the global economic depression of 1929-35 and, above all, the colonial policies pertaining to taxation, labour, trade and crop production. It also analyses the central role of the colonial state in the transformation of the cattle economy in Rongo.
It is submitted •that the dawn of colonialism and the subsequent inception of the colonial state set in motion a series of economic policies and changes which were instrumental in the integration of the traditional economy of Rongo into the wider colonial economy. Besides identifying these policies and change's the study reveals the persistence of the traditional production and management methods under the colonial economy of Rongo.
The research also reveals that cattle owners and traders; in cattle and related products were not just passive towards the economic forces which were impinging on their erstwhile cherished economy. In fact, the study shows how they faced the prevailing situation with considerable economic ingenuity. Some of them came to grips with the colonial capitalist economy and accumulated capital which they invested in various economic ventures. The findings of this study have invalidated the notion of equal deprivation and pauperization of the cattle owners and traders in the colonial economy.
It is further noted that cattle economy witnessed declining fortunes in the last two decades of colonial rule. The study attributes this state to the increasing demand for local labor in colonial establishments, the development of formal western education, expansion of area under crop and the demographic changes overtime which caused strain on cattle economy. The situation was further aggravated by lack of adequate breeding and dipping facilities in Rongo for most of the entire colonial period. The combination of these problems in the wake of other competing lucrative ventures eventually undermined the pre-colonial resourcefulness of cattle economy.
University of Nairobi
Cattle economy; Transformation; Colonialism
Type of publication|
Nairobi - University of Nairobi
Added to C-A: 2023-03-01;10:13:07|
© Connecting-Africa 2004-2023 | Last update: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 |