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Empowerment of Farmers at the Center of Agricultural Development

Bicanic, Josipa LU (2012) MIDM71 20121
LUMID International Master programme in applied International Development and Management
Abstract
This multiple case study investigates how technology choice and market access, as components of agricultural extension services, contribute to the empowerment of farmers in the Banke District of Nepal and in the state of Virginia in the United States. My ‘empowerment’ analytical framework is inspired by Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom concept. The research methodology is rooted in qualitative inquiry and review of secondary literature. The fieldwork included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with farmers, a questionnaire with NGO community extension agents in Nepal, as well as semi-structured interviews with state extension agents in the United States.

In Nepal, agricultural extension provided by the NGO... (More)
This multiple case study investigates how technology choice and market access, as components of agricultural extension services, contribute to the empowerment of farmers in the Banke District of Nepal and in the state of Virginia in the United States. My ‘empowerment’ analytical framework is inspired by Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom concept. The research methodology is rooted in qualitative inquiry and review of secondary literature. The fieldwork included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with farmers, a questionnaire with NGO community extension agents in Nepal, as well as semi-structured interviews with state extension agents in the United States.

In Nepal, agricultural extension provided by the NGO Practical Action stresses technologies that rely on outside inputs, which create an element of disempowerment. The focus on market access and linking farmers to various local marketplaces empowers farmers. Training Local Resource Persons as extension agents to bridge the gap between the weak state extension system and the poor communities is the right approach for empowering farming communities. In the US, it is troubling to see that the state extension service’s resource, the land grand university, works closely with those companies who greatly profit financially from the high-input technologies, which have come to dominate the agricultural sector. Farmers are tied to these input technologies and they have become disempowered through the technology treadmill and the increasing global market, over which they have little control.

With the goal of empowerment of farmers in mind, policies and intervention can be created and instilled in the institutional structures of organizations that will promote a more holistic agriculture in the future. (Less)
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author
Bicanic, Josipa LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Assessing how technology choice and market access in agricultural extension contribute to the empowerment of farmers - A case study of western Nepal and eastern USA
course
MIDM71 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Agricultural Extension, Agency, Empowerment, Nepal, USA, Agricultural Development
language
English
id
2543358
date added to LUP
2012-06-21 16:15:28
date last changed
2012-06-21 16:15:28
@misc{2543358,
  abstract     = {This multiple case study investigates how technology choice and market access, as components of agricultural extension services, contribute to the empowerment of farmers in the Banke District of Nepal and in the state of Virginia in the United States. My ‘empowerment’ analytical framework is inspired by Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom concept. The research methodology is rooted in qualitative inquiry and review of secondary literature. The fieldwork included semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with farmers, a questionnaire with NGO community extension agents in Nepal, as well as semi-structured interviews with state extension agents in the United States.

In Nepal, agricultural extension provided by the NGO Practical Action stresses technologies that rely on outside inputs, which create an element of disempowerment. The focus on market access and linking farmers to various local marketplaces empowers farmers. Training Local Resource Persons as extension agents to bridge the gap between the weak state extension system and the poor communities is the right approach for empowering farming communities. In the US, it is troubling to see that the state extension service’s resource, the land grand university, works closely with those companies who greatly profit financially from the high-input technologies, which have come to dominate the agricultural sector. Farmers are tied to these input technologies and they have become disempowered through the technology treadmill and the increasing global market, over which they have little control. 

With the goal of empowerment of farmers in mind, policies and intervention can be created and instilled in the institutional structures of organizations that will promote a more holistic agriculture in the future.},
  author       = {Bicanic, Josipa},
  keyword      = {Agricultural Extension,Agency,Empowerment,Nepal,USA,Agricultural Development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Empowerment of Farmers at the Center of Agricultural Development},
  year         = {2012},
}