Households’ aspirations for rural development through agriculture

Mausch, K and Harris, D and Heather, E and Jones, E and Yim, J and Hauser, M (2018) Households’ aspirations for rural development through agriculture. Outlook on Agriculture (TSI). pp. 1-8. ISSN 0030-7270

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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.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (GLDC)
CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Distributed ethnography, behaviour, decision-making, household choices, livelihood portfolio, rural households, small holder agriculture, farming households, technology development, sub-Saharan Africa
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Rural Development
Others > Rural Economy
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Others > Africa
Others > Sub-Saharan Africa
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2018 11:01
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2018 10:30
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was financially supported by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).
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