By John English
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Extra resources for Land resource management in Machakos District, Kenya, 1930-1990
F) land resource management innovations will come from multiple sources and their introduction will be enhanced by strong links between a local society and the economy at large, and will be enhanced in an open society with a broad, development oriented leadership structure. (g) non-agricultural and urban growth will in general enhance the above processes, through reducing the share of the society which has to rely on the land resource for its livelihood and increasing the options open to those who choose to do so.
Page ix Summary. In the late 1930s Machakos District, a semi-arid area of East Central Kenya, inhabited by the Akamba people, was considered by the colonial administration to be degrading alarmingly and to be rapidly approaching, if not exceeding, its capacity to support its inhabitants and their livestock. Today the area has a population five times as great and the value of agricultural output per head (at constant prices) is estimated to be three times larger than it was then. At the same time food production in the area is less susceptible to drought than before, although still subject to it.
The report analyses the changes which have taken place in the land resources, agricultural systems, and social structures of the district over the period since 1930. Despite the fact that there was considerable social turbulence in the period prior to independence, the people of the district have managed, building on good market access and periodic government support, to make substantial changes in their agricultural systems and bring about a dramatic increase in the productivity of their land resources.