Participatory research and the "pastoralist question" in Tanzania: a critique of the Jipemoyo project experience in Bagamoyo district

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University of Dar es Salaam
This thesis sets out to explain why the livestock producing peasants in Tanzania have been marginalized by the Livestock Policy of Tanzania. It is argued that the state capitalist sector has been given priority over the peasant sector and that the pastoral peasants are not high on the list of Government development priorities. The process of capitalist accumulation on the basis of the livestock producing peasants, which is at the core of this new policy, is traced from the colonial period up to the neocolonial period with specific reference to the Parakuyo Maasai pastoralists in western Bagamoyo District. The situation facing other pastoralists is also referred to and it is argued that the rise of militant peasant movements, like SunguSungu is a direct response by the livestock producing peasants to this process of capitalist accumulation. The process of class formation and the development of class struggles amongst the livestock producing peasants are analysed in relation to the articulation of the capitalist mode of production in its imperialist stage to the precapitalist forms of livestock production characterizing the pastoralists. This provides the basis for the simultaneous dissolution and conservation of the livestock producing peasants, who are gradually being transformed into agro pastoralists or else proletarianized, as they are increasingly dispossessed of their major means of production, namely land and cattle. Those who can continue as pastoralists are rich peasants, and they too are in the process of developing into a rural petty bourgeoisie. The attempt by the Jipemoyo Project to involve the pastoralists in actively defending their interests, through politically conscious participatory research, is criticized for its failure to link the political mobilization of the pastoralists to the objective reality of their historical condition. The reliance on pastoralist leaders who tended to represent the richer pastoralists, led to the promotion of pastoralist development in a contest which was likely to lead to the development of a rural petty bourgeoisie. However, the development of a model of a participatory research project and the development of a materialist phenomenology represent theoretical innovations in the field of applied sociology.
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Sociology, Parakuyo maasai, Research, Tanzania
Mustafa, K (1986) Participatory research and the "pastoralist question" in Tanzania: a critique of the Jipemoyo project experience in Bagamoyo district,Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at ( )