thegef: Running low on bushmeat and timber in Kenya
Josephat has a problem. He’s having difficulty paying school fees for his seven children. And his mother needs treatment for diabetes. That will mean more expenses.
Josephat – a subsistence farmer – his wife and children live on a two-acre farm. It is in a moist oasis surrounded by drylands. Because it is very fertile land, he is able to feed his family and generate a small profit from the surplus produce. His income is just enough to pay for the school fees of four of his seven children.
Josephat’s grandparents had a good life. They had an informal agreement with the local chief to farm about 20 acres around the family home. They too were subsistence farmers but never needed to cultivate more than three or four acres – that was sufficient for their needs. Even if they had had the labour to cultivate all the land, there were no roads and no means of getting produce to market. Bushmeat, fruit and timber were plentiful. You didn’t really need to plan your farming activities to get food and other resources – these things were just available to be had at any time. When they died, the land was subdivided between their male children, and that’s why today Josephat and his six brothers have tiny plots.
To ensure a better life for their families, they have been forced to think of other ways of generating income, and have been eyeing the nearby bush and forest for bushmeat, timber, firewood and charcoal.
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