Economic and social developments in Kenya between 1900-1945

  • Economic and social developments in Kenya between 1900-1945. Cash crop development was linked much to the white settlers who occupied the Kenya highlands.
  • The first crops to be grown were maize for cash and potatoes for food.
  • Lord Delamere experimented wheat farming in the Uasin-Gishu plateau where he produced the first wheat crop successfully in 1907.
  • In 1904, tea was introduced at Limuru and sisal was planted at Thika.
  • By 1920, sisal had become the second most important plantation crop.
  • P was also grown on plantations near the coast.
  • Tomatoes and cape good berries were also grown.
  • Africans grew crops which they were familiar with e.g. simsim and groundnuts.
  • In 1904, the policy of reserves was began where Africans had to supply labour and were not to grow cash crops.
  • In 1908, Coffee Planters’ Association was formed where coffee trees were got from missionaries.
  • Lord Delamere later introduced coffee growing near Thika.
  • By 1920, large tea estates were established around Nakuru.
  • In 1925, two companies from India were set up on the large tea plantations at Kericho.
  • Between 1920 to 1921, the government encouraged maize growing.
  •   In 1935, pyrethrum was grown in the Kenyan highlands.
  • Vegetables and fruits were also introduced in the Mau hills.
  • Communication included railway lines, roads, telegraphs and waterways.
  • Kenya-Uganda railway began in 1896 at Mombasa and extended to several parts of Kenya.
  • In 1921, the railway line extended from Nakuru to Eldoret and Kitale then to Uganda.
  • Within Kenya, the railway lines extended to Nyeri, Nanyuki, Thompson falls and Magadi.
  • Feeder roads were constructed to supply or feed the railway stations with goods to be transported.
  •  Harbour at Mombasa developed due to easy communication by road and railway.
  • Lake steamer service on Lake Victoria was established which boosted trade.
  • Major ports like Kisumu, Jinja, Port Bell, Entebbe, Bukoba, Mwanza and Musoma were established and this boosted water transport.
  • By 1930, Kenya’s internal and international communication services had been established.

Contribution of Lord Delamere to the economic development of Kenya

  • His real name was Hugh Cholmondeley.
  • He first came to Kenya in 1897 on a hunting expedition.
  • He probably came from South Africa and was attracted by the great potential of the country.
  • He was a product of white settler influence in Kenya.
  • The white settlers increased in Kenya as a result of the construction of the Uganda railway.
  • He later returned in 1903 to settle in the Kenyan highlands which were suitable for white settlement.
  • Lord Delamere was determined to make farming a success in Kenya and therefore worked hard for its development.
  • He acquired land at Njoro and around Lake Elmenteita for the development of agriculture in Kenya.
  • He spent his personal effort and money on agricultural experiments in Kenya.
  • He experimented on various types of wheat in the above areas.
  • Lord Delamere also experimented on various breeds of exotic livestock in Kenya e.g. the Freshian.
  • Delamere spent a lot of money trying to control diseases and climatic problems in Kenya.
  • Through research, he was able to contain the ‘rust’ disease which threatened wheat in Kenya.
  • He imported pigs, sheep and cattle although many of them died of the East Coast Fever.
  • He carried out cross-breeding of exotic and local animals which promoted the resistance of the animals.
  • In 1907, he produced his first successful wheat crop.
  • He also developed crops like tea, sisal, coffee and maize.
  • He was instrumental in the formation of ‘’Master-servants ordinance’’ of 1906 that was where Europeans were the masters and Africans were the servants.
  • The ordinance made African interests secondary to the European interests in Kenya.
  • Lord Delamere was active in settler politics and led the European settler delegation to the Devonshire White Paper discussion in 1923.
  • He later died in 193 during the period of the Great Economic Depression.