Focusing on an agropastoral society of southcentral Somalia, this book explores the seeming incompatibility of subsistence agriculture and development goals. Based upon survey and ethnographic research carried out among the Rahanweyn, the study pays particular attention to economic activities, linking them with environmental factors as well as with history, culture, the division of labor and women's roles, family structure, demography, and herding and agriculture. How change can best be introduced into such a society is the central question of the book. The meaning of subsistence and its relationship to self-sufficiency and a survival threshold are examined within the context of an externally imposed market system. The implications of rapidly induced market involvement in a traditional society are looked at in light of data on a range of subsistence societies. The author argues for a redirection of development practices, making a case for the viability of a mixed agropastoral system that diverges little from the traditional subsistence patterns, and for peasant-centered development compatible with subsistence production, balancing national and international interests.
Preface and Acknowledgments -- Subsistence-Based Agropastoralism in the Era of Development -- Society and Economy Among the Rahanweyn -- The Process of a Subsistence-Based Agropastoralism -- Social Change in an Agropastoral Society -- Avoiding a "False Start" in Southcentral Somalia