#531 — Landless People

Part XIX: Benefits of Small-Scale Farming in Kenya Squatter houses on our way to Eldoret. Notice the simple construction of mud and wattle with grass roof and very small plot. If you have been reading my series of articles on small-scale farming, I hope you have been convinced of the benefits it has for the people in Kenya. Unfortunately this READ MORE

Results of GlobalGiving Campaigns to Date

Context: There are 5706 projects on the GlobalGiving webpage that people can donate to. These projects are ranked by GlobalGiving. The higher the ranking the more visibility there is on the GlobalGiving webpage and consequently the greater the possibility of a GlobalGiving donor seeing a project and then donating to it. GlobalGiving has more than 120,000 donors on its listserve READ MORE

#530 — The Small-Scale Farm

This is a picture of the homestead of Rezpa Sabatia, Gladys’ late cousin, who lived down the road from us. She and her husband, the late James Sabatia, were one of the original settlers in Lumakanda in the early 1960s. If you can see the corrugated iron building on the right among the tress, this was their carpentry shop, James’ READ MORE

#529 — The Destruction of Small-Scale Farming

Country people leaving a village due to enclosure in 18th Century England. Mary Evans Picture Library. In the last five hundred years the land of small-scale farmers has been confiscated by elites frequently and forcefully. The rationale has been due to the negative characterization of the small scale farmer as “uncivilized”, stupid, unproductive, and backward. These have been the justifications READ MORE

#528 — Large Scale Farming in Kenya

Part XVI: Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya A large international tea estate near Kericho, Kenya. This land was taken from the Kipsigis under a 99 year lease which has just been renewed for another 99 years. The tea companies control 800,000 acres of land and employ 60,000 workers. Tea is Kenya’s largest export crop.  Kenya is a large READ MORE

#527 — Machakos District: What Works.

A current picture of the Mua Hills. Notice the terraced fields on the right side and the artificial pond in the foreground. Since this is a semi-arid region with frequent droughts, all possible measures are needed to conserve water. _____________________________________________ Please donate on Giving Tuesday, November 27, to the programs in East Africa as GlobalGiving will be giving a bonus READ MORE

#526 — The Local Market

Fruits and vegetables available in one of the kiosks in Lumakanda. The purpose of commercial farming is to sell the harvest to outsiders to secure income and profit. An additional purpose for export crops such as coffee, tea, and cut flowers is to earn foreign exchange for the country. Government officials, economists, and development experts love export crops and promote READ MORE

#525 — The Man with a Hoe

L’homme à la houe by French painter, Jean-Francois Millet (1863). I hope I don’t have to point out the extremely negative depiction this painting gives of the small scale farmer. My grandfather, Frank Zarembka, was of Polish peasant background. The word “peasant” is usually used pejoratively as it means “a poor smallholder or agricultural laborer of low social status (chiefly READ MORE

#524 — What Not to Do, Two Examples

American mechanization on the Dominion Farm’s rice fields. Notice the small scale farms on the hill in the distance. There are so many cases of grand agricultural schemes in East Africa that promised the moon, but ended in collapse that I can only cover two in this Report from Kenya – Dominion Farm and the Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme. Dominion READ MORE

#523 — What Not to Do, a Personal Experience

A current picture of the countryside in Musoma District. In 1966 the US Peace Corps assigned me to Rwamkoma Settlement Scheme in northern Tanzania just east of Lake Victoria. Due to the enthusiasm of independence Tanzania decided to jump into modern commercial farming with the establishment of a number of “settlement” schemes. The idea developed by “experts” was that farmers READ MORE