Being of peasants: the case study of the Usangu plains 1945 20(h)

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University of Dar es Salaam
This study examines the impact of commercial rice farming on the peasants’ economic wellbeing in the Usangu Plains between 1945 and 2000. The main assumption of the study is that, the development of capitalist production in the Usangu Plains had an impact on peasant wellbeing and their self- sufficiency. The study used the political economy approach in explaining this relationship. It used interviews as well documentary review as the main methods for data collection. The study reveals three main findings. First, the study finds out that the introduction and development of rice production in the Usangu Plains led to the rise of social stratification based on the ownership of land and utilization of labour among peasants. This, gave rise to the consolidation of private family property ownership and exchange relations. Second, the study points out that consolidation of rice production also led to food shortages in the Usangu Plains. Peasants put efforts in the production of rice for commercial purposes and spent less time on food production. Third, the study shows that commercial rice farming expresses the exploitative nature of capitalist relations of production and that this is revealed by various mechanisms employed by capital. Peasants are exploited as labourers in production as well as at the market place. The study concludes that the poor economic wellbeing of peasants in the Usangu Plains is connected to the history of commercial rice farming in the area.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library
Peasants, Usangu plains
Ambindwilo, G. K (2003) Being of peasants: the case study of the Usangu plains 1945 20(h). Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.