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The Impact of Beliefs in Witchcraft and Magic on Attitudes towards Sustainable Agricultural Productivity in Gucha District, Kenya

Journal: Asian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (Vol.3, No. 4)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 267-278

Keywords : Witchcraft; Magic; Psycho-analysis; agricultural productivity;

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This paper explores the impact of beliefs in witchcraft and magic on attitudes towards sustainable agricultural productivity in Africa based on field study findings in a rural District in Kenya, Gucha. The purpose of the paper is to demonstrate that in Africa, agricultural problems are not explained only by objective scientific factors such as climate, quality of soils and inputs but also invisible human factors such as belief in witchcraft and magic. The study was done using qualitative and quantitative research designs on a purposively and randomly sampled population of 300 respondents. The discussions are informed by the psycho-analytic theory as initially fathered by Freud and Jung (1859-1939) and (1875-1961) respectively and as employed by recent students such as Faber (1994) and Michele (1999). The findings suggest that belief in witchcraft and magic play significant roles in explaining declining agricultural productivity such as crop failure and milk production and death of domestic dairy stock. It is argued in the paper that although the meaning of these concepts is not particularly clear at the rational level, they play ideological and epistemological roles such as explaining and rationalizing fate for example: poverty and disease. The beliefs are sustained by among other factors: scientific ignorance, poverty, culture and negligence on part of Government. The paper concludes that belief in magic and witchcraft negatively affects attitudes towards sustainable agricultural productivity and urges government and other stakeholders in the enhancement of agricultural productivity to intervene and avail to peasant farmers in rural Africa the badly needed scientific agricultural knowledge to help improve agricultural productivity.

Last modified: 2014-12-29 16:24:39