Maintaining ‘Invisible’ Landesque Capital: A Case Study of Soil Fertility Management in a Smallholder Irrigation System in Kenyan Drylands
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Soils in sub-Saharan Africa have long been considered as seriously degrading due to traditional agriculture. This perception was challenged in recent years by new research which entailed a new understanding of African soils and their management. The purpose of this study was to contribute to this new understanding by examining soil fertility management of a smallholder irrigation system in Kenya based on the concept of landesque capital. The empirical material was collected during fieldwork in Kenya. The methods utilized were semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participatory walks, soil sampling and analysis of secondary sources. The study identified a broad localized knowledge about soils and several soil fertility management practices that are considered as investments in so-called landesque capital by the local farmers, whereat the traditional irrigation has a superordinate role. The accumulation of this type of capital mainly occurs through incremental processes. Moreover, these investments in soils are mostly relatively low in labor and capital intensity and appear to be aimed at sustaining a certain level of soil fertility rather than increasing it. However, this farming system is rapidly changing due to socio-economic dynamics and so may also the management of its soils.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-82490OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-82490DiVA: diva2:570149
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law