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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1989 → The sociology of mixed farming in Morocco : Incorporating the fellah’s view

Kansas State University (1989)

The sociology of mixed farming in Morocco : Incorporating the fellah’s view

Nassif, Fatima

Titre : The sociology of mixed farming in Morocco : Incorporating the fellah’s view

Auteur : Nassif, Fatima

Université de soutenance : Kansas State University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1989

This study examined fellahs’ perspectives on mixed farming in the light of the state’s orientation in agriculture, past and current policies, and their impact on traditional agriculture. The primary instrument of data collection was structured interviewing of a sample of 87 fellahs, 11 fellahs’ wives, and six groups of villagers who operate small mixed farms in Settat province. The key cluster variables in the analysis centered around fellahs’ resources, practices and strategies, and perspectives on mixed farming. It was hypothesized that the fellahs’ principal objective was to provide for subsistence needs first and have some surplus to market in order to purchase necessities not produced on the farm, especially sugar, tea, and clothes. It was also hypothesized that because of the risk inherent in crop production due to the erratic nature of the weather and the uncertain character of the institutional environment, crop surplus is difficult to achieve. Livestock are kept on farm because of the multitude of functions they play, particularly their role as generators of cash. The data supports the twofold hypothesis. Risk reduction strategies, of which mixed farming is the principal expression, allow fellahs to survive at subsistence or near subsistence levels, and most importantly allow them to persist under increased risks in the natural and institutional environment. The fellahs’ continued persistence is accounted for, at least in part, by their risk-averse response to natural risks and the social, economic, and political influences of the larger system. However, the growing divergence between the interests of the state and those of the fellahs and the state’s power to enact policy increase fellahs’ integration in the larger economy, their vulnerability to the market in the long-run, and the transformation of traditional agriculture into commercial agriculture. It was recommended that the state should reconsider its overall orientation regarding agriculture, its perception of and attitude toward fellahs, and its top-down approach to planning agricultural development. Farming systems analysis offers an opportunity to make these divergent objectives of state and fellahs more compatible.

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