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Participatory Model of Agricultural Research and Extensions: The Case of Vleis, Trees and Grazing Schemes in the Dry South of Zimbabwe

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Scoones, Ian; Cousins, Ben
Date: 1993
Agency: Centre for Applied Social Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
Series: CASS Occasional Paper--NRM Series
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3634
Sector: Grazing
Region: Africa
Subject(s): grazing
forest management
participatory management
Abstract: "Why have peasant farmers in Africa not adopted modern agricultural technology more readily? In the past the most common diagnosis was peasant ignorance or cultural conservatism. The answer then 'obviously' lays in programmes of education and extension hence the major investments in improving extension services in the 1950s and 1960s. The oft-repeated exhortation to 'educate the farmers' can still be heard today in some quarters. "In the 1970s and 1980s a new trend of thought emerged amongst agricultural economists and development planners which proclaimed the rationality of decision-making in rural farmhouseholds. Obstacles to improved production were seen to be mainly external constraints on decision-makers - constraints such as restricted access to resources and the need of such farm-households to minimise risk. Thus improved understanding of the nature of these constraints by agricultural research scientists and extension agents became important, so that more appropriate technologies and more adoptable extension recommendations would be passed on to the farmers. Other suggested interventions were better prices for agricultural produce, upgraded transport and other infrastructure, the wider provision of credit, improved inputs supply and marketing systems, and so on."

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