John Tyman's
Cultures in Context Series
Studies of the Maasai, the Luhya, and Nairobi’s Urban Fringe
FOOD : Agricultural Case Studies: 
10. The Mumias Sugar Company : 087-097

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087. The scale of work done at the sugar refinery at Mumias marked it off from all other agricultural enterprises in the area.
088. It processed cane grown both on its “nucleus” estate and hauled by road from a host of small holdings owned by “out-growers”.
089. The operation was typical of sugar mills run by foreign-owned companies in the Developing World – with mechanized handling but cane cut by hand.
090. Besides the refinery itself there is a large water treatment plant, and a repair section floodlight for work at night on the many vehicles involved.
091. The scale of the operation was mirrored also in a series of ancillary buildings. There was a training centre to develop work skills...
092. And a medical centre to handle emergencies.
093. There was a townsite, too, for many of those working here were housed on-site in company houses, rows of them, introducing a new element into the region’s pattern of settlement.
094. The accommodation for workers typically comprised two rooms, much like their huts back home, but since they were not permanent homes they were sparsely furnished, especially where wives stayed in their village and saw their husbands only after pay day at the end of each month.
095. The company provided a super-market, which was a useful source of soft-drinks at least.
096. Between the rows of company houses there were vegetable gardens where their employees grew food crops.
097. But there was enough of a shortfall to justify women from nearby villages marketing produce of their own nearby.


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