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Why Volunteer? Peasant Rationality Re-examined: A Study of What Motivates Farmers to Volunteer in Malawi

Kawash, Ammar LU (2009) MIDM70 20091
LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management
Abstract
The primary objective of this study was to understand the rationality behind the decisions of smallholder farmers to volunteer as Farmer Trainers in the absence of direct financial incentives. Farmer Trainers are responsible for passing on agricultural extension knowledge to their peers as part of a participatory agricultural extension approach dubbed ‘Farmer-to-Farmer’ training programme. Using the existing literature on peasant rationality as an entry point, this study employs a holistic framework which includes elements from the economy of affection paradigm and economic theories of volunteering to explore how national and community level factors influence individual rationality, and hence the motivations of farmers to volunteer.
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The primary objective of this study was to understand the rationality behind the decisions of smallholder farmers to volunteer as Farmer Trainers in the absence of direct financial incentives. Farmer Trainers are responsible for passing on agricultural extension knowledge to their peers as part of a participatory agricultural extension approach dubbed ‘Farmer-to-Farmer’ training programme. Using the existing literature on peasant rationality as an entry point, this study employs a holistic framework which includes elements from the economy of affection paradigm and economic theories of volunteering to explore how national and community level factors influence individual rationality, and hence the motivations of farmers to volunteer.
Through a combination of a literature review, focus group discussions and interviews with farmers in the central region of Malawi, this study found that in addition to being motivated by self-interest, farmer volunteers are also significantly influenced by a desire to develop their community in taking the decision to volunteer. The study concludes by underlining the importance of employing a wider lens when exploring the concept of rationality, as the complexity of peasant life necessitates the inclusion of social and cultural factors in addition to economic ones, as motivations for actions are not solely based on financial or individual considerations. (Less)
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author
Kawash, Ammar LU
supervisor
organization
course
MIDM70 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Economy of Affection, Volunteering, Peasant Rationality
language
English
id
1432297
date added to LUP
2009-08-14 13:23:59
date last changed
2010-05-07 13:15:40
@misc{1432297,
  abstract     = {The primary objective of this study was to understand the rationality behind the decisions of smallholder farmers to volunteer as Farmer Trainers in the absence of direct financial incentives. Farmer Trainers are responsible for passing on agricultural extension knowledge to their peers as part of a participatory agricultural extension approach dubbed ‘Farmer-to-Farmer’ training programme. Using the existing literature on peasant rationality as an entry point, this study employs a holistic framework which includes elements from the economy of affection paradigm and economic theories of volunteering to explore how national and community level factors influence individual rationality, and hence the motivations of farmers to volunteer. 
Through a combination of a literature review, focus group discussions and interviews with farmers in the central region of Malawi, this study found that in addition to being motivated by self-interest, farmer volunteers are also significantly influenced by a desire to develop their community in taking the decision to volunteer. The study concludes by underlining the importance of employing a wider lens when exploring the concept of rationality, as the complexity of peasant life necessitates the inclusion of social and cultural factors in addition to economic ones, as motivations for actions are not solely based on financial or individual considerations.},
  author       = {Kawash, Ammar},
  keyword      = {Economy of Affection,Volunteering,Peasant Rationality},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Why Volunteer? Peasant Rationality Re-examined: A Study of What Motivates Farmers to Volunteer in Malawi},
  year         = {2009},
}