The administration of agricultural development programmes: The case of Kwale district ,Kenya.
Maingi, D Wanjiru
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The study focuses on the administration of agricultural development programmes in a marginal area of Kenya for Kwale District. It seeks to evaluate the various programmes that have been designed for the development of the area. Developing the marginal areas has been a major concern of the government over the recent years. Lack of development in these areas can be traced back to the colonial era. Colonial development was both partial and discriminatory, favouring mostly the settler dominated areas which were within the high potential areas of the country. Early post-independence period development efforts were geared towards the former "African Reserves". From mid 70s and eighties, more attention has been directed to developing the marginal areas which have not previously benefited substantially from various programmes. The objective has been to reach tile more neglected areas to boost their agricultural production and productivity in an attempt to raise the standards of living, create employment and improve the country's food production in order to be self-sufficient. The effectiveness of some of the major programmes that have been designed to achieve this objective are examined in this study. Decentralized development has been a major approach in development administration in Kenya since the decade of 1970. Decentralized planning and decision-making to the district level has not been very effective.The district continues to rely on the centre for most of its decisions and resources which includes project identification. District plans are made with very limited grass root influence. The District and sub-district Agricultural Committees for instance have no significant influence on project identification. The farmer representation in these committees is inadequate for the small scale farmers who are expected to benefit from these projects. When projects are identified at district level, it is often carried out by the District Agricultural Officer and other specialists at district level with very limited consultation with agricultural officers at the level below, who in fact are the front-line workers. Often, these district level officers do not have most of the information pertaining to the field where these projects are to be implemented. The results are that projects launched are often unrealistic and incompatible with the socio-economic environment of the bulk of the farmers. Related to centralized planning, is the problem of centralized resource allocation. Meaningful planning also requires an integration with resources. Thus planning and budgeting should go together. However,as tile situation stands, the district and even the province have very limited resources which they can control. Lack of integrated planning and budgeting has often led to unrealistic targets which are difficult to implement. Extension services on the other hand aim at reaching smallholders. This again has not been effectively achieved. The link between research stations and extension services in the field is still very weak. There is still inadequate designation of programmes for the marginal areas. Inadequate and untrained staff capable of feeding research stations with information pertaining to the field continue to be a major problem. Integrated Agricultural Development prograllune which is supposed to benefit the small scale farmers continue to benefit the progressive farmers. Poor staff-farmers ratio coupled with inadequate transport has also rendered farm visits ineffective channels of communication. In terms of credit extension, the existing co-operatives are weak both in meruJership structure and management. Poor management has led to huge overhead costs and frequent cases of loan defaulting. This has greatly undermined the relationship of these societies and the Co-operative Bank of Kenya, to an extent that the latter is not in a position to disburse more credit to the societies until the old debts are met. Leadership squabbles and favoritism have also helped to divert credit from those who actually need it to a few society leaders and their supporters. The problem of land registration and,political influence on Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) lending has reduced the effectiveness of AFC as a lending institution. Thus agricultural credit, though important as working capital has not benefited the bulk of the farmers. In tackling the problems of aridity, the strategies being followed receive inadequate support from the Ministry of Agriculture. They tend to be voluntary activities rather than vital elements of agricultural development. Lack of coordination among various departments concerned, has also contributed to the low participation by farmers. There has not been adequate pressure on the farmers from either of these departments.
CitationM.A Thesis 1984
xmlui.dri2xhtml.METS-1.0.item-description-sponsorshipUniversity of Nairobi
Faculty of Arts, University of Nairobi
Master of Arts Thesis