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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Where Did the Trees Go? The Wattle Bark Industry in Western Kenya, 1932-1950
Author:Maxon, Robert M.ISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
cash crops
forest resources
History and Exploration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3097554
Abstract:With the support of the Kenya colonial State and an initially favourable response from peasant households in the Gusii highlands, large numbers of wattle trees were planted in the 1930s. Yet this post-Depression attempt to establish wattle bark as a cash crop in selected portions of western Kenya proved far from successful. Despite extensive planting of trees, the production of wattle bark had not reached a significant level by the end of the 1940s. By the time (1943 and 1944) that quantities of bark should have been ready for stripping, little was actually put on the market. Despite the receptivity of peasant households to market forces, the campaign did little to significantly increase the incomes of targeted households. The study of this failed initiative suggests that the roots of rural underdevelopment in Africa are complex, involving, in this instance, the interaction of peasant households, the colonial State, and both local and international economic interests and forces, as well as internal divisions within the State. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]