EMPOWERING SMALL FARMERS THROUGH COLLECTIVE ACTION: THE CASE OF TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFER

Collective action could be the logical route to empowerment for fanners. By working together fanners can, in principle: identify members' needs and consolidate demand; aggregate members' economic power; and address market failures. These capacities would seem to make fanners' organisations the ideal partners in the area of agricultural technology transformation, which can be described as technology development and transfer. This is proven by the strength of "Organised Agriculture in South Africas commercial fanning". Iltis paper draws on research focused on emerging black fanners' organisations in South Africa and their involvement in agricultural technology. This research makes it clear that the key to effective change in the technology development supply system in South Africa, and thus to much needed productivity increases amongst black small fanners, is held by the technology system itself. In the absence of significant support, small fanners' organisations (as currently constituted) can be expected to play a restricted role - if any at all - for they are not yet sufficiently united, powerful or technologically-aware to force the opening of doors on their own initiative. One of the major lessons which must be drawn from this is that broader support to farmers' organisations to build capacity and particularly to develop internal communication mechanisms is likely to have to precede support for particular technology initiatives.


Issue Date:
1996-12
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/268000
ISSN:
0303-1853
Language:
English
Published in:
Agrekon, Volume 35, Issue 4
Page range:
332-335




 Record created 2018-02-07, last modified 2018-04-02

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