Sustainable development around the Lake Victoria basin, part II – a case study of farmer empowerment through participatory rural appraisal in the VI Agroforestry Project Masaka/Rakai, Uganda
This Master’s thesis is one of two parts of a combined project called Sustainable development around the Lake Victoria, the purpose of which is to investigate the importance of local anchoring and active participation in the work towards sustainable development. The present study aims to investigate whether men and women are empowered by the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) process promoted in their villages by the VI Agroforestry Project Masaka/Rakai. The study is primarily based on interviews with farmers within the project area and brings up a local perspective on the concepts sustainable development, active participation and empowerment.
The study shows that to improve the farmers’ livelihood and to create a sustainable development in the community, the farmers have to be actively involved in, and in control of, the process. The people concerned are the ones who are most familiar with the local society and to make the development sustainable in a long-term perspective, activities and solutions need to be adapted to local conditions and circumstances. However, the farmers must first know what kind of development they want, i.e. where they want to go, and be aware of what means they may utilize to get there. In other words, the farmers need to be empowered before they can be in charge of their development process.
According to the interviews, the farmers are encouraged by the VI Agroforestry Project’s PRA process to discuss their present situation with each other, to develop strategies of how to improve it and to increase the collaboration within the villages. From this I come to the conclusion that the PRA process promoted in their villages has made the farmers more aware of their situation and better equipped to identify opportunities in their neighbourhood. Therefore, I argue that the farmers are empowered by the VI Agroforestry Project’s PRA process.
The study is published both as a Master’s thesis for the Environmental Science Programme, Linköping University and as a Minor Field Study for Sida. There are only editorial differences between the two versions.
Strandberg, T. (2004). Sustainable development around the Lake Victoria basin, part II – a case study of farmer empowerment through participatory rural appraisal in the VI Agroforestry Project Masaka/Rakai, Uganda. Master’s Thesis. Department of thematic studies, Environmental Science Programme. Linköping University.
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