Labour Demands and the Household
AbstractComing to grips with the organisation of labour is crucial to understanding the workings of any agrarian system. In this chapter I wish to examine the organisation of labour in Hinganiya paying particular attention to the ways it is related to reducing the risks of drought. Maclachlan (1983) has suggested that one response to population growth in a high famine-risk environment is agricultural intensification and argues that one way to intensify labour inputs is through the organisation of the household to maximise the availability of male labour. This chapter will explore the situation in Hinganiya to see whether a similar argument applies there. In fact, I will argue that analysis of labour demand does not support an argument for intensification based on large households and maximising male membership. On the contrary, large hquseholds, while being of value during peak labour periods, present a problem for subsistence for the rest of the year, and throughout bad years._ Large households, where they exist, have other functions, particularly in terms of delaying partition of land.