Determinants Of Intra-rural Labour Migration: A Case Study Of Mumias Agro-industry In Western Kenya
This study attempts to uncover some of the causes of rural-rural migration in Kenya. It is based on the 1983/84 Population-Agriculture Interrelationship Sample Survey conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Nairobi. Motivation for the study arose from the fact that students of migration in Kenya have had a longstanding oversight of intra-rural migration, instead paying more attention to rural-urban migration. There was need to fill up this gap of knowledge and the present study offers that opportunity. Findings herein could complement those already established in previous rural-urban migration studies for a better understanding of internal migration in Kenya. Until recently, urban areas in Kenya have remained the most visible centres of job opportunities, to which migration streams have gravitated. With the current swing of the pendulum of development towards district focus, pockets of rural development have emerged as new centres of job opportunities attracting potential migrants. The/resultant is a new form of rural-rural migration process that should be investigated so as to establish its impact on the economy. ) The present study is focussed on Mumias Sugar Industry in Western Kenya where an impressive rural development emerged in early 1970s. As a growing rural modern commercial sector, the study area has continued to usher in labour migrants from the surrounding less developed rural locations. To understand the causes and characteristics of migrants involved in this process, calls for an examination of factors assumed to influence some people to migrate and others not to migrate. Eight such explanatory variables are considered and analysed in this study. The multiple regression results confirm that demographic, socio-economic and cultural-cum-spatial factors are important in determining rural-rural migration process in Kenya. The study also confirms that the migrating population is mainly composed of the older, less educated, with children and usually covering short distances. However, there is evidence that recent migrants exhibit characteristics similar to those of rural-urban migrants. These findings have policy implications in both the rural areas of origin and those of destination. Recommendation is made for planners to make rural areas attractive by directing the country's resources towards rural economic projects. This would retain potential rural-urban migrants within the rural areas as well as increasing job opportunities in the country.