Wartime Food Production: Grain Storage, the Warlands, and the Persistence of Agricultural Individualism
An agricultural scheme that was commonly referred to as the warlands – cleared and cultivated blocks of land for producing tribal grain reserves – was utilized by the British Administration in efforts to increase the production of food. However, this measure is often viewed as one that was intended for the benefit of ‘the colonial state and its feudal compradors’ to acquire the surplus produce from peasants. This attempt was also depicted as a means of maintaining the agricultural production level in spite of a significant decline in the labour supply due to both recruitment for the British Army and work in the South African mines. Aside from presenting the intended function and underlying motives of this scheme, this chapter explains how these relate to agricultural policy, and how this scheme was not able to achieve most of its goals.
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