Article from ROAPE Volume 8 Number 20
Development of a Middle Peasantry in Nyanza
Although it has been argued that international finance capital has taken a position in support of the ‘middle’ peasantry engaged in household production in Kenya, this support of ‘household producers’ need not necessarily lead to the development or consolidation of a middle peasantry in all areas and with regard to all crops. In the case of Nyanza, it will be argued that the intrusion of international capital into the Nyanzan social formation has fed to the stagnation of middle peasant agriculture. Where this middle peasantry is still in formation, it is experiencing very painful birth pangs, thanks to the interests of other social classes busy ferreting surpluses away from it. This essay is an inquiry into the historical social forces that have made it difficult for a middle peasantry to establish itself and flourish in Nyanza.