These are small scale agriculture productions where by a farmer produces both food crops and cash crops.

Colonialists introduced peasant agriculture during colonial rule for the following aims/reasons;

1. Earning cash by selling cash crops.

2. Production and producing food crops for their survival during colonial rule.

3. To ensure that peasants [small scale farmers] are producing for capitalists. HOW PEASANT ECONOMY WAS INTRODUCED IN AFRICA.

Introduction of peasant, cash crop farming in Africa was difficult because of the following reasons:

1. African traditional was only producing food crops for direct consumption.

2. Ignorance. Many Africans were ignorant [not aware] on cash crop production.

3. Readiness of the people. Many people were not ready to produce cash crops.

4. Poor technology. Most of the peasants were using poor technology in the farming i.e. hand hoes, axes, panga etc.

Due to the above difficulties colonialists do/ applied the following things in order to introduce peasant cash crops production;

1. Missionaries’ persuasion. Missionaries persuade Africans who converted to Christianity to grow
cash crops.

2. The use of force. Those Africans who rejected to grow cash crops were forced to grow cash crops through;

1. Orders from the colonialist, chiefs and African head men received orders from colonialists to force their fellow Africans to grow cash crops.

2. Through seeds distribution and cash crops planting supervision.

3. Establishment of large farms in villages which grow cash crops where by people were forced to work there.

4. Restructuring of colonies.

5. Encouraged the use of poor (crude) technologies in production i.e. the use of hand hoes, panga, axes etc. CHARACTERISTICS OF PEASANT AGRICULTURE [ECONOMY].

1. Family was the unit of production. Peasant economy was characterized by the members of the family to be sources of labour in production.

2. Peasant based on a small unit of land. Peasant was characterized by practice of agriculture on a small piece of land which was populated.
3. Peasant based on inter-cropping. Peasant practiced more than one type of crop in a single area for food and cash crops.

4. Peasant used poor technology. The use of poor technology in production such as hand hoes, axes and pangas were much applied in the peasant economy.

5. Peasant used on a dense population made it hard for land alienation to be practiced, if land alienation was used, many people would be affected and there would be chaos in the area.

6. The colonial government was afraid of the centralized kingdoms that proved to be tough against the establishment of settlers’ agriculture.

7. Some areas were tough and unfit for white settlement i.e. Uganda equatorial region had high temperatures that discouraged white settlements.

8. Certain crops i.e. [cotton and coffee in Uganda] needed great care and could not be mixed easily with other systems of agriculture.

9. Centralized and strong kingdoms in Uganda proved efficiency and capability to organize and supervise agricultural activities in their areas. These traditional chiefs were paid lowly for supervising that activity.


10. Taxation was imposed on the people so that they could cultivated cash crops.


Uganda was among of the first colonies which peasant economy was introduced by colonialists. The reasons behind for people of Uganda to be preserved to continue to practice small scale agriculture it was because Uganda was a centralized state having good traditional and systems under feudal relations before colonial rule.

Due to that Britain did not want to disturb that system so as to avoid resistance. Therefore they left the people of Uganda to continue growing food crops alongside cash crops under British supervision. FACTORS/ REASONS WHY PEASANT AGRICULTURE ECONOMY WAS INTRODUCED IN UGANDA AND NOT OTHER AREAS.

1. Dense population.

2. Problem or shortage of labor supply. Labour supply in Uganda was a problem since traditionally family was a basic unit of production hence colonialists introduced peasants.

1. Unfavorable climatic conditions to the Europeans. Europeans could not be able to stay in Uganda since climatic conditions of Uganda which was characterized by heavy rainfall, coldness and hotness were not suitable or favorable for them.
2. The nature of crops. Peasant economy was introduced in Uganda because the types of crops such as coffee which were grown in Uganda needed great care and great supervision.

3. Good centralized feudal political system.

4. Readiness of the people.

5. The influence from colonial government.

6. Peasant economy was cheap and easy to control.

7. The infrastructure and the territorial problems in some areas of Uganda and Tanganyika. Therefore the factors/reasons above were the factors behind the introduction of peasant economy not only in Uganda but also in north Nigeria and Tanganyika (in Kilimanjaro, Bukoba, Mbeya).


This involved production by foreigners. These foreigners usual presented the interests of the metropolis (i.e. their main interest were mining and agriculture in the colonized countries).

The promotion of agricultural production was to go hand in hand With settlements in Africa, especially in those areas that were fertile.

Settlers settled in big numbers in central Africa (Malaysia Zambia, Zimbabwe), South Africa, parts of French equatorial Africa, French West Africa, and in East Africa (Kenya). FEATURES OF SETTLER ECONOMY:

(i) Land alienation with differently issue land ordinaries, in 1900 the land occupation ordinance was enacted in Zambia.

The ordinance required that Europeans who had been allocated land must occupy and use that land
otherwise they would pay taxes for leaving such land redundant.

In Kenya in 1597, the land regulation office set a si..vacant land for European settlements, in 1902, the native Land ordinance allowed the commissioner to sell or give crown land to the Europeans, and
in 19..
large scale land alienation in Kikuyu began.

(ii) Forced labour: The French, German land Portuguese follow a similar policy of forced labour and unpaid labour.
Forced labour was required to reduce costs that were necessary in public services.
In Zimbabwe in 1897, the Nature regulation Act was passed, forcing African chiefs to produced labourers at law coast.


(iii) Taxation: the hut tax was introduced in Malawi in early 1890 in Zimbabwe in 1898, and in Zambia in 1900.
In Kenya the Hut Tax was introduced in 1980, and poll tax in 1910.

The intention of the tax was to cover administrative expansion ways by which Africans would be forced to work in European farms in order to raise money to pay their taxes.

(iv) Migrantlabourers were transported from faraway places to work in settler plantations.

(v) The development of infrastructures to serve the settlers. WHY SETTLER DOMINATED IN KENYA THAN IN UGANDA OR TANGANYIKA?

The following are the reasons for why settler dominated in Kenya than in Uganda;

1. Climatic condition.
Climatic condition in Kenya made Europeans to be attracted especially in Kenya highlands. also this areas was very fertile.

2. Kenya was made a ‘crown land’ means for Europeans settlements as results Africans were no right to own land.

3. Low population in Kikuyu highland, this made land alienation possible hence no strong resistance.

4. Africans were prohibited to grow cash crops. This also made British settlers to attracted in Kenya as there were competition from Africans.

5. Construction of Buganda railway which facilitated the transportation of raw materials from interior to Mombasa.

6. Settlers were favoured in Kenya. This is because settlers came in colonies under the influence of colonial state so the colonial state did everything to favour them hence settlers had critical influence on colonial government.


This commodity production entailed massive exploitation of land and intensive exploitation of Africanlabour. The owners of the plantations were usually capitalists In Europe employing managers to supervise production i.e. sisal and coffee Estates in Tanganyika. WHY PLANTATION AGRICULTURE WAS ESTABLISHED IN TANGANYIKA

1. Due to change of colonial masters. In the beginning Tanganyika was under Germany but after the 1st world war Tanganyika became under the British.
2. The interests of the British colonial governors in Tanganyika. For example sir Byatt 1919-1924 from Somali and Donald Cameroon from Nigeria; these were committed to peasant or plantation agriculture rather than settler economy.

3. Tanganyika had a large areas where settler agriculture was not suitable to manage it but; they settled only on highlands around Kilimanjaro, Usambara and South Western highlands of Iringa and Tukuyu.

4. There was no settler policy in Tanganyika as in Kenya policy was committed to African production.

5. There was no good and efficient transport and communication; it was not very much provided in this particular sphere of influence.

Melkisedeck Leon Shine

Development Expert, Web Designer, Entrepreneur, and Technology Enthusiast.

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