Agricultural change and rural class formation in Iringa district, Tanzania

Nindi, Benson Charles

November 1978

Thesis or dissertation

© 1978 Benson Charles Nindi. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis is a study of rural development policy in Tanzania with special reference to Iringa District. Its principal aim is to assess the ujamaa (rural socialism) programme. However, an historical approach is adopted and the thesis devotes considerable attention to the development of agricultural production, particularly maize and tobacco, in Iringa District. Based upon fieldwork conducted during the author's stay in Tanzania in 1976/77, the thesis draws on a variety of unpublished documentary sources and the testimony of informants.

The early chapters discuss pre-colonial Tanganyika, the incorporation of the territory into the international capitalist system, and the role of the colonial state in the rural areas. Infrastructures and forms of exploitation are examined in the context of colonial capital accumulation, and it is suggested that colonial policy underwent significant shifts between the 1930s and the post-war period.

The thesis argues that the post-Independence government made a disastrous mistake in generalising an experience with co-operatives which had already shown its negative side in the 1950s. Moreover, the ujamaa policy, originally intended as a policy for self-initiative by peasants, was transformed into a state policy for the compulsory resettlement of the rural population in nucleated villages. As a consequence of this bureaucratic approach towards rural development, agriculture was disrupted, production dropped, the will to work of the producers decreased and mismanagement intensified these problems. In short, the technocratic approach towards agriculture has failed to release the productive forces and change the social relations of production in rural Tanzania.

Department of Sociology, The University of Hull
Asad, Talal; Booth, David, 1945-
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