Households’ aspirations for rural development through agriculture: uri icon

abstract

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, rural households are the focus of many development efforts and the transformation of smallholder agriculture is one entry point for this process. Understanding farming households' technology choices remains one of the most critical aspects of agricultural research in rural areas. However, many technologies that are known to be effective and potentially highly beneficial have remained widely unused. One reason is that predicting farmers' decisions concerning agricultural technologies using conventional economic theories is flawed. In this article, we suggest that human aspirations have a much greater influence on technology choices than hitherto believed. We further argue that a better understanding of aspirations will improve the targeting of technology development by researchers. We propose distributed ethnography to empirically test the influence of human aspirations on technology choice. From such insight, we anticipate better research priority setting as well as more effective rural development strategies in general.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2018