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Accepted Paper:

Coffee in Kenya: colonial roots, neo-colonial fruits  
Alice Karuri (Strathmore University)

Paper short abstract:

Strict regulations governed Kenya's farming, processing and trade of coffee through the colonial period and for three decades post-independence. Twenty years after liberalization, the country continues to primarily export green beans. This paper examines the mechanisms that perpetuate this trend.

Paper long abstract:

Coffee was first grown in Kenya in 1893, and it was illegal for Africans to grow coffee for the following three decades. After Kenya's independence in 1963, coffee farming, processing and trade was highly regulated until the early 1990's when liberalization measures were adopted. This resulted in the entry of numerous actors in the crop's processing and trade activities. However, the anticipated effect of increased farmer incomes through reduced costs and higher coffee prices did not occur. Significantly, over 90% of coffee exports continues to be in the form of green beans, and few coffee cooperatives have vertically integrated into the coffee chain to process coffee for the domestic market. This paper will analyze the post-independent coffee regulations and reforms, and classify their focal activity into three broad categories; production, processing, and trade. The means of achieving their stated goal will be divided into legal reforms, institutional changes, and economic incentives. The objective of this analysis is to determine whether the regulations and reforms have reinforced colonial structures and mechanisms of coffee production and trade, or are geared towards gaining commodity sovereignty.

Panel P08
The colonial roots of commodity dependence
  Session 2 Wednesday 26 June, 2024, -