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ERIC Number: EJ939189
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
The Meaning of Practices: Farmers' Conceptions in Agricultural Development Strategies
Mathieu, Anne
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v10 n3 p101-109 2004
Agricultural development programs often produce unexpected results. This can be attributed to the fact that the target-farmers already have their own knowledge and competencies which, in turn, determine their practices. In order to be adopted, an innovation has first to be discussed, and then appropriated by a local group of farmers in their system of knowledge and in their system of meaning; subsequently the innovation may be rejected or adopted by all the farmers concerned or by a sub-group of farmers with a given social position. The author of this paper suggests that knowledge of these local systems of farmers' knowledge is useful for agricultural research and development programs. It enables not only identification of the differences between researchers', development agents' and farmers' conceptions of technical processes, but also an understanding of the social meaning of the adoption of innovation. The importance attributed to farmers' forms of knowledge in different research and development approaches is analyzed, and a brief description is given of principles and methods that can be used to reveal different conceptions of technical processes by groups of farmers. Three examples are cited of the utilization of such knowledge in agricultural research or development programs to illustrate the proposals. Finally, the benefits to be gained by agricultural scientists through an understanding of these conceptions are discussed. (Contains 1 figure and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A