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Sowing seeds of trust : social learning in farmer family learning groups

Sievers, Tim LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20162
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Agricultural systems, specifically in the global South, and the people living of them, are more than others, exposed to changes in the environment around them. Smallholder farmers (that work in agroecological systems), with a low standard of living, are the most vulnerable to short-term shocks and long-term stresses. There have been attempts by development agencies, researchers and local governments to facilitate the development of sustainable and dynamic agro-ecological systems, though, most of these have failed. My thesis based on a case study, which is situated in the biodiverse Rwenzori region in Uganda, where farmers are one of the poorest groups in society and directly depend on their own food production. This case study centers... (More)
Agricultural systems, specifically in the global South, and the people living of them, are more than others, exposed to changes in the environment around them. Smallholder farmers (that work in agroecological systems), with a low standard of living, are the most vulnerable to short-term shocks and long-term stresses. There have been attempts by development agencies, researchers and local governments to facilitate the development of sustainable and dynamic agro-ecological systems, though, most of these have failed. My thesis based on a case study, which is situated in the biodiverse Rwenzori region in Uganda, where farmers are one of the poorest groups in society and directly depend on their own food production. This case study centers around an agro-ecological approach that promotes whole household participation and which is practically oriented and that encourages farmers to take charge of their development process towards an increased livelihood, through so called Farmer Family Learning Groups (FFLG’s). I depart from social learning theory and investigate to what extent social learning processes unfold in such groups and in what ways it supports an increase in farmers’ capacity (respond to livelihood stressors) and adapt to environmental change. Drawing on open-ended interviews with local farmers, Facilitators and the member organisation SATNET, I use the theory of social learning to identify conditions that facilitate social learning and compare these with my data. Factors identified are how trust is increased, how a change in attitude and behaviour occurs, how shared knowledge is created, social networks are strengthened, and how improved management of socio-ecological systems can be recognised. The results of this empirical study indicate that the FFLG’s provide a secure and trustful setting to create a participatory learning environment in which social learning can be practiced and contribute to improved livelihoods. Based on this case study I will
propose an extension of the social learning theory by implementing a permanent facilitator that guides the farmer group, to ensure a continuous strive to achieve lasting change. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sievers, Tim LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Farmer Family Learning Groups, Uganda, social learning, facilitator, Sustainability Science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:033
language
English
id
8893851
date added to LUP
2016-10-26 22:56:30
date last changed
2016-10-26 22:56:30
@misc{8893851,
  abstract     = {Agricultural systems, specifically in the global South, and the people living of them, are more than others, exposed to changes in the environment around them. Smallholder farmers (that work in agroecological systems), with a low standard of living, are the most vulnerable to short-term shocks and long-term stresses. There have been attempts by development agencies, researchers and local governments to facilitate the development of sustainable and dynamic agro-ecological systems, though, most of these have failed. My thesis based on a case study, which is situated in the biodiverse Rwenzori region in Uganda, where farmers are one of the poorest groups in society and directly depend on their own food production. This case study centers around an agro-ecological approach that promotes whole household participation and which is practically oriented and that encourages farmers to take charge of their development process towards an increased livelihood, through so called Farmer Family Learning Groups (FFLG’s). I depart from social learning theory and investigate to what extent social learning processes unfold in such groups and in what ways it supports an increase in farmers’ capacity (respond to livelihood stressors) and adapt to environmental change. Drawing on open-ended interviews with local farmers, Facilitators and the member organisation SATNET, I use the theory of social learning to identify conditions that facilitate social learning and compare these with my data. Factors identified are how trust is increased, how a change in attitude and behaviour occurs, how shared knowledge is created, social networks are strengthened, and how improved management of socio-ecological systems can be recognised. The results of this empirical study indicate that the FFLG’s provide a secure and trustful setting to create a participatory learning environment in which social learning can be practiced and contribute to improved livelihoods. Based on this case study I will
propose an extension of the social learning theory by implementing a permanent facilitator that guides the farmer group, to ensure a continuous strive to achieve lasting change.},
  author       = {Sievers, Tim},
  keyword      = {Farmer Family Learning Groups,Uganda,social learning,facilitator,Sustainability Science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Sowing seeds of trust : social learning in farmer family learning groups},
  year         = {2016},
}