Primitive Agricultural Methods of the West Suk Tribe and Some Improvements

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Before the year 1930 little had been done to improve ' the conditions of the West Suk tribe; in the past the work of the administrative officers 'had been chiefly in preventing inter-tribal raids. When I was posted to this district in January, 1931, my first duties were "to make a close study of the Suk, with respect t6 the best methods to adopt in the new school to help them socially and economically." From February to May of that year extensive tours of the district were undertaken on foot. In a letter, the District Commissioner wrote, "The Suk are backward and conservative to a degree and it will be a long uphill task to win their confidence and secure any active interest and support from them for any scheme inaugurated for their benefit." At this time they were famine stricken, as little or no rain had fallen since the previous September, and locusts had eaten their first crop of sorghum. Even the pastoral Suk were not getting enough to eat, as there was little grazing for the cattle, and they were unable to obtain any grain from the agricultural section as they usually did during a dry time. People were eating berries from trees, rats, and in fact anything they could find. As a result of these tours I came to the conclusion that something ought to be done to improve the conditions of the people in the reserve in addition to conducting a school at Kapenguria for their sons. Owing to lack of funds the maximum number of pupils that could be taken was sixty, and it was felt that this would not have much effect upon the West Suk tribe with a population of 23,000. In this article I am . not concerned with the development of the school,
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, 5 (No 5), p. 23-30