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EFFECT OF MUMIAS SUGAR COMPANY ON THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NABONGO LOCATION, MUMIAS DISTRICT

BY

MALOBA A HASSAN

REG. NO: BA/35/07

DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ANTHROPOLOGY, SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCINCES, IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT FOR THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AWARD OF A BACHELOR OF ARTS DEGREE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION OF MOI UNIVERSITY

APRIL, 2011

CHAPTER ONE

1.1 INTRODUCTION

1.1.1 Background to the study

Companies and industries are important stimulus to development in any rural area due to creation of employment, market for the raw materials and the general improvement of the lives of the people. This is partly the reason why people move from rural areas to urban and industrial areas in search of employment. This is also the reason why people move from their own countries so as to seek better employment opportunities and good infrastructure elsewhere.

The establishment of Mumias Sugar Company was informed by the government’s import-export substitution policy that aimed at reducing dependence on importation and achievement of self sufficiency in sugar production. It also aimed at providing a source of income for farmers through creation of jobs: there being no other major industrial development in the area at the time. The Kenya sugar board embarked on the creation of local factories to help reduce the dependence on imported sugar. It was within this policy framework that Mumias Sugar Company was established in 1973. This was also followed by the establishment of Nzoia Sugar Company and Sony sugar factory in Muhoroni. This government policy was positively received from the host communities, while the government stepped up sugarcane growing campaigns to encourage the growing of the crop. A lot of people embraced the sugarcane growing as campaigns went on to encourage the planting of sugarcane crop.

As more and more people were encouraged to plant sugarcane, the Company itself also set up nuclear farms on land that they leased from the locals for a period of 33 years. Sugarcane farming became a favourite venture for the locals with the company a sure market for their cane. During the first years of Mumias Sugar Company’s establishment, between the 80s and early 90s, it worked well and led to more people embracing sugarcane growing in neighbouring districts like Butere, Busia and Teso. The rapid adoption of sugarcane farming in Busia, Butere and Teso regions as far as early 1990s, was due to the public perception that the people of Mumias were rich because of sugarcane farming. This is partly why even in places like Busia district, some of the farmers maintained sugarcane farming under Mumias Sugar company rather than the proposed Busia Sugar Company. Before the introduction of sugarcane farming, most people in these areas engaged in subsistence farming where they produced maize, beans, sweet potatoes and cassava which were produced as food crops. These were their main staples and thus, source of nutrition and food security.

This study was conceptualized within the understanding that economic development of a population entails many aspects including income, which can be achieved by people working and earning a salary while others receive income from the returns from their farm produce. Companies cater for this by providing employment and market for the raw materials. It also entails the level of education whereby people will be able to gain skills required for better employment opportunities and betterment of the society. The economic lives of people of Nabongo location will also entail the general wealth, which include the size of land owned by the people, security against diseases and exposure to good education. Consequently, Mumias Sugar Company was supposed to cater for the above economic needs of the population surrounding it, given the policy framework under which it was established.

Economic development in the...
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