The role of small scale agro-based industries in rural development: a Case study of west Kenya Sugar Factory . Kakamega District
This study set out to examine the role of small scale agro-based industries in rural development. Using a case study of West Kenya sugar factory, the study aimed at studying the sugar industry in terms of sugarcane farming and sugar processing in Kabras area. These two processes have had an effect on the economic and social well being of the people. It is against this background that the study was prompted by the economic and social changes that have taken place in the study area since the introduction of sugarcane as a cash crop and sugar processing. In an effort to understand rural deve1opmen t dynamics, the study examined the extent to which the introduction of sugarcane farming and sugar processing in the study area has had an effect on employment, ,household income, education, infrastructure trade and commerce, agriculture and the general living standards of the people. This study has revealed that with the introduction of sugarcane farming and sugar processing in the study area, both the sugarcane farmers and factory workers have had additional income due to the employment opportunities at the factory and the market there off created by the factory for the sale of sugarcane. These two processes have had multiplier and distributive effects in terms of the earned incomes being re-invested in other income generating activities that improve the general well being of the people. The study also revealed that the two processes have had an effect on education and business activities in the study area.In general the rural community in the study area has benefited from the introduction of the sugarcane farming and sugar processing. The benefits are mainly social and economic. The study concludes by recommending for the introduction ofmore small scale sugar factories given that the investment requirements of such factories are manageable by local entrepreneurs and therefore more appropriate to establish than large scale factories which need greater public sector funding.