Farmers' Organizations in Kenya: State Agents or Civil Institutions?
Odero, Kenneth K
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines the conditions under which small-scale, resource-poor farmers in Kenya have attempted to engage in representational activities to influence agricultural policies, under conditions that at best can be described as less than optimal for representational politics. The paper presents brief case histories of four farmer organizations: the now defunct Kenya Farmers' Association (Cooperative) Limited (KFA), the Kenya Coffee Growers Association (KCGA), which was deregistered in 1989, the Kenya Planters' Cooperative Union (KPCU), and the Kenya National Farmers' Union (KNFU). The focus is on the postcolonial period. Farmer organizations in Kenya have been concerned primarily with institutional and market policy questions. The institutional issues revolve around organizational management, leadership, and elections, but also include the all-important question of the role of the State in the organizations. Market concerns involve the conditions of production affecting producers, such as the prices of inputs and produce, conditions of credit and loan repayments, and extension services. It is concluded that farmers' organizations in Kenya appear to be, at least potentially, a viable vehicle for policy influence.