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Title:Labor Mobilization and Utilization Among Small Scale Farmers in Chibale Chiefdom, Serenje, Zambia
Author(s):Ndiaye, Serigne Mbacke
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Economics, Agricultural
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Abstract:Traditional diffusion models of agricultural technologies have been limited to evaluating the nature of technologies and the impacts technologies may have in societies, rather than the extent to which the structure of society may be compatible with the technology itself. Thus, labor-absorbing technologies, for example, are implied to be appropriate in labor-surplus areas, which is how Africa has generally been characterized. It has further been argued that the adoption of these technologies will not only reduce underemployment in rural Africa, but also contributes to increased agricultural production.
This thesis, which is based on an in-depth case study of the introduction of a new seed technology in central Zambia, shows that seasonal labor shortages characterize African agriculture and constitute a key limiting factor to production. The research studies the established forms of labor organization, and the socio-cultural factors affecting the mobilization and utilization of labor in the husbandry of a newly introduced hybrid maize. A major emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of farmers' strategies for coping with labor problems in relation to their social environment.
Participation-observation and personal interviews during 15 months stay among farmers, are the primary data collection methods used in the research. Where applicable, other secondary sources such as official records, and personal communications with field staff are used. A sample of 24 farmers were extensively observed and interviewed. Survey data were also collected from a sample of 240 farm workers during the cropping season.
The data indicate that labor availability and farmers' labor mobilization capacity in hybrid maize cultivation are strongly influenced by a variety of socio-cultural and economic factors internal to the farming system. Theoretically, it is suggested the "perceived benefits" of a technology do not constitute a sufficient basis to determine its "appropriateness". The thesis supports a diffusion model which encompasses a dual appraisal of the influence of social organization on technology, and the reciprocal, and of social organization as both a dependent and an independent variable. An agricultural development strategy which takes into account the demands of new technologies and labor organization patterns is proposed for the research area.
Issue Date:1988
Description:170 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8815398
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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