#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

#522 — HIV+ Children

Progress at the building site for the Maternity Ward. Introduction by Dave Zarembka: Among the many issues that HIV/AIDS has brought, the fate of children born HIV+ is often neglected. “At the end of 2015, 2.6 million children throughout the world ages 15 and younger were living with the virus, but only about one-third of them were getting treatment (WebMD).” READ MORE

#521 — Peacemaking Lesson from Football (Soccer)

Playing football in the Dukire Tubane Project By Elie Nahimana, Coordinator Innovations in Peacemaking — Burundi The chief of Kamenge zone (woman in yellow dress) with the assistant to the Bujumbura Catholic Bishop (on left) launch a football match opposing Ngagara, Cibitoke and Kamenge zones in Bujumbura. Introduction: The peacemaking Quakers in Burundi have always been very creative in using READ MORE

#520 — Physical Constraints to Farming

Part X: Benefits of Small Scale Farming in Kenya Three weeks ago we had a tremendous hail storm here in Lumakanda. Notice in the picture above of banana trees that some of the older leave have been shredded by the hail with new leaves like the one on the bottom left are intact. Update: Transforming Community for Social Change has READ MORE