The Bantu Economics

According to http://www.cal.org/co/bantu/sbeco.html, the Juba River valley, which contains many Bantu people and is located in southern Somalia, produces a surplus of crops. The Juba River valley is one of the few areas where “irrigated agriculture is practiced and surplus production is common.” The Juba River valley is especially important in supplying the surrounding areas with food, due to the fact that the surrounding areas rely on rain water for their crops. Not only do the Bantu supply the crops, but the transport them to via caravans.

Also, according to the web-site mentioned above, farmers are restricted to one to ten acre farms and must rely on family, or, occasionally, hired hand help. Because of this type of farming, the farmers can supply food for their families and a small surplus to the commercial market for profit. “Nevertheless, these farmers contribute the highest percentage to Somalia's staple food stocks, which include maize, millet, sorghum, sesame, beans, cotton, rice, vegetables, and fruits. Crops grown for commercial export markets include bananas, citrus, and vegetables.

Even though the Bantu produce surpluses, their standard of living is quite low, which includes no running water, no electricity, and very few material possessions. The reason for this is found in the Italian colonial period. The officials would confiscate the Bantu’s farming tools, which were their only way of income and survival. Between 1935 and 1940, the Italian colonial authority forcibly conscripted the Bantu people into slavery. Although once the British army in Somalia defeated the Italians in 1941, the Bantu were freed of their slavers. In the years between the years 1940 and 1960 the Bantu were relatively peaceful. They weren’t under any influence from the government and they weren’t bothered by their hostile neighbors.

After achieving freedom, the officials in Somali created a policy designed to prevent Bantu people from social, political, and economic development. Some of the bantu people have been able to escape to urbanized areas and better their lives. Some of the jobs they work now include building trades, woodworking, vehicle repair, tailoring, and electric machine maintenance. However in the refugee camps the people work by doing construction, manual labor, tree farming and nurseries, and vegetable gardening.