Kenyan woman holds her phone up in a maize field

Livelihoods, Cellphones, and Migration in Kenya (2014, Chapter)

2014-NRE coverRamisch, J.J. (2014) ‘We will not farm like our fathers’: Multilocational livelihoods, cellphones, and the continuing challenge of rural development in western Kenya.  Chapter 2 in D. Sick, (ed.) Rural Livelihoods, Regional Economies, and Processes of Change. Routledge.  Pp. 10-35.

Download the unrevised pdf from ResearchGate here.


Many sub-Saharan Africa smallholder farmers have diversified beyond purely agricultural, rural livelihoods towards ones with household members exploiting opportunities in multiple locations.  This chapter explores the evolution and implications of multilocational livelihoods for western Kenyan households and out-migrants, using interviews and ethnographic data collected over a 12-year period.

Findings suggest that:
– The livelihood and food security vulnerabilities of both the rural and urban areas are strongly interlinked, supported in part by contemporary cellphone communication and money transfer technologies.
– Multilocationality results from and reinforces intergenerational and gendered tensions and is changing the ways that agroecological knowledge is created and shared.

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