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University of New Brunswick (1992)

The use and spread of agricultural innovations among small-holding farming communities in Busia District, Kenya : issues in agricultural extension

Chessa, Samuel Robert

Titre : The use and spread of agricultural innovations among small-holding farming communities in Busia District, Kenya : issues in agricultural extension

Auteur : Chessa, Samuel Robert

Université de soutenance : University of New Brunswick

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1992

Résumé
The development of the rural areas of Kenya is a central preoccupation of the Kenyan government. Within an overall development strategy of the District Focus for Rural Development, the Kenyan government has identified small-holding agriculture and agricultural extension services as key players in the improvement of the rural areas and in raising the standards of living of the rural populations. However, attempts by the agricultural extension department to introduce new and improved farming methods have not always been successful and are even having unanticipated and contradictory consequences, such as accentuating rural social differentiation, thus abetting the emergence of rural elitism. Utilizing a combination of research techniques including the survey, structured and unstructured interviewing and observational methods, this dissertation gives a sociological explanation of the ineffectiveness of Kenya’s agricultural extension programs as well as of their resultant unanticipated consequences. This study investigates the gap between Kenya’s agricultural extension services delivery and the farming reality of the small-holders, paying special attention to the use and spread of agrictrltural innovations among small-scale farmers in Busia district.It is my contention that the gaps in, and the unexpected results of the Kenyan government’s agricultural and rural development programs result from the government’s conflicting social and economic development goals. Kenya’s agricultural extension strategy stems from theories of modernization and liberal economic development whereas the country’s overall rural development policy emphasizes social cohesion and egalitarianism, in addition to economic growth. My argument is not against the government’s policy of agricultural extension, but it does point out the kinds of contradictions that may result from a process of directed social-economic change. My general conclusion is that the existing system of agricultural extension is in some ways destroying the principle upon which the national development strategy is based, namely rural social cohesion and equitable development. This is an outcome that was unanticipated and is in many ways undesirable from the standpoint of the overall national development policy. The theoretical and practical contributions of this thesis lie in its attempt to unravel a development issue by focusing on the dialectics of socio-economic change, and showing how economic goals can conflict with social goals.

Sujets : Busia District ; Agricultural extension work ; Socioeconomic factors ; Social integration ;

Présentation

Page publiée le 14 janvier 2017