Actors' interaction and farmers participation agricultural projects: A case of RIPAT-SUA project in Morogoro Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Studies on farmers’ interactions in agricultural projects have reported on the importance of the interaction of farmers with other actors on their participation in agricultural projects and subsequent adoption of agricultural technologies. However, there has been little interest on the influence of farmers’ interactions, alternative income generating opportunities and biophysical conditions of the farmers’ geographical locations, on farmers’ participation in agricultural projects. Guided by Ostrom’s Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework and the social exchange theory, the study sought to describe the patterns of interactions between farmers and other actors, determine the influence of interactions on farmers’ participation in agricultural projects and determine exogenous factors influencing farmers’ interactions. The study adopted a cross-sectional research design whereby data were collected through a questionnaire survey, focus group discussion, and key informant interview. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and inferentially while qualitative data were analysed using content analysis. The study findings showed that farmers’ interactions with other actors in agricultural projects increased with decrease in distance from the crop market. Diversity of crops/livestock produced and number of resources shared by the actors showed a statistically significant influence on farmers’ interactions. The findings showed further that participation of farmers in agricultural projects increased with increasing remoteness, and interactions influenced participation. With alternative income generating opportunities, the farmer may take up additional income generating activities limiting their participation in agricultural activities. Institutions, biophysical conditions and group leadership showed statistically significant influence on participation. The study findings corroborate the IAD framework that the action situation, that is, biophysical conditions (in this case proximity to the crop market), interactions and institutions, influence farmer’s decision to participate in agricultural projects. They also support the social exchange theory which postulates that cost and rewards (in this case resources shared) are important driving forces for farmers’ interactions. The study suggests that, rather than referring to it just as cost and rewards, it should be explicit in the social exchange theory that both material and social benefits are important when it comes to motivating factors for actors’ interactions. For increased farmers’ participation, it is recommended that government and non-governmental organizations embrace group approach and the RIPAT approach in designing and implementing agricultural development projects. Creation of avenues for agricultural stakeholders’ interactions, improvement of the feeder roads and construction of markets at strategic locations are also recommended. Lastly, agricultural interventions ought to be rewarding to farmers.


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Farmers, Agricultural projects, Actors' interaction, Morogoro