Settlement Schemes as Centres of Socio-Economic Change: The Case of Nyansiongo Scheme Nyamira District, Nyanza Province, Kenya
Field work for this study was conducted between the months of November 1989 and February 1990. Its purpose was to establish the direction and magnitude of change that had occurred among the resettled farmers, socially and economically.To achieve that goal, it became necessary to document and analyze the socio-economic changes among the settlers in the scheme. The demonstration model was the theoretical orientation that was used to guide and inform this study. It presupposes that for any meaningful changes to be effected, government change agents such as veterinary and agricultural extension workers should have dialogue with the farmers. It is indicated that the demonstration model is viable for planned social change. The methodology that was used to collect data in this study was documentary library search, focus group discussion, interviews and participant observation methods. The respondents were randomly selected using systematic random sampling, in which every 5th household head was interviewed. The household was the unit of analysis.The findings indicate that, on the overall, Abagusii farmers in Nyansiongo settlement have undergone significant socioeconomic transformations. They enjoy a higher standard of living than they did in the pre-settlement area. They now have bigger pieces of land that they utilize in the production of more food and cash crops. Most of them derive adequate income from their farming activities which they invest in both farming and non-farming ventures. It was also established that, socially, there settlers have to a large extent adapted to the new environment by leading lifestyles that tend to be urban oriented, characterized by investing in the environment, being more individualistic and self-reliant. In brief, they have taken farming as a commercial activity.