Husbanding the land : agrarian development and socio-technical change in Luoland, Kenya

N.A.R. Mango

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


    <FONT FACE="CG Times,Times New Roman"></font><FONT FACE="Palatino"><p>This study underlines that development processes and more particularly technological change essentially is non-linear. By focusing on two domains of agricultural production in Luoland i.e maize varieties and soil fertility aspects, the study show that both domains are identified as problematic and the actors involved commonly share this. However, as the thesis argues, this cannot be said of the proposed solutions, as these are heavily debated and claims made by one leads frequently to counterclaims by others. In other words, it is more accurate here to talk of knowledge conflicts, encounters and claims, rather than a consensus situation. In analysing these encounters, processes of knowledge production and exchange in the breeding and selection of maize varieties and ways of reproducing soil fertility were explored in detail. To explore these issues further, the recent literature on technology development and technological change provided some theoretical and methodological clues and guidelines. The study has elaborated the various socio-technical networks through which maize spread in Luoland and the regimes that sustained them. It shows that most farmers in Luoland today produce maize from the regime based on the mass selection of local maize, rather than the maize generated by modern hybrid and open pollinated variety breeding techniques. Farmers argue that the myth of the superiority of hybrids no longer holds for them. In exploring the complexities of soil fertility and the strategies to enhance it, the study reveals that farmers have developed soil fertility management strategies of their own that correspond to what we call here the niche or 'hidden novelties' within the socio-technical landscape. These niches operate independently of the predominant hybrid maize and fertiliser regime. These social processes constitute the cores of the socio-technical niches that have emerged over time in Luoland.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Wageningen University
    • Long, N.E., Promotor
    • Hebinck, Paul, Promotor
    Award date20 Mar 2002
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Print ISBNs9789058086044
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • agricultural development
    • agricultural production
    • agriculture
    • technology
    • innovations
    • maize
    • breeding methods
    • appropriate technology
    • kenya

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