One of the few systematic field surveys undertaken following the 1975 agrarian reform in Ethiopia, this study analyzes the conditions constraining agricultural productivity of peasant farmers in the Arsi region and examines how farmers view peasant and government organizations established to attain agrarian socialism. Based on data generated through interviews with farmers, peasant association leaders, and extension agents, Dr. Dejene argues that the low prices for agricultural products, shortages of consumer goods, and lack of improvements in farming technology are among the major obstacles to increasing output among peasant farmers. The author also explores the government policy of transforming peasant associations into oollective farming units, which he finds is supported by only one quarter of the farmers interviewed. His study indicates that peasant institutions could best mobilize labor and resources to generate agricultural surplus and undertake conservation activities that would prevent future famine. Thus the author concludes that present government efforts should emphasize strengthening the cooperative movement rather than establishing collective farming.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Acknowledgments -- 1. Introduction -- The Nature of the Problem -- Objective of the Study -- The Approach of the Study -- Limitation of the Study -- 2. The Characteristics of Peasant Farmers -- The Setting -- The Integrated Rural Development Project in Arsi -- Important Crops and Animals -- Cultivatable Land and Types of Production -- Land Fragmentation -- 3. Land Tenure: Implications for Increasin1 Peasant Production -- Issues Emerging After the Agrarian Reform -- 4. The Role or Peasant Institutions in Socialist Transformation and Rural Development -- The Peasant Association -- Women's Associations -- Service Cooperatives -- Producer Cooperatives -- 5. The Effect of Leading Government Institutions on Peasant Production -- The Agricultural Marketing Ccxporation -- The Ethiopian Domestic Distribution Corporation -- Extension Services -- 6. Peasant Perceptions of the Impact of Integrated Rural Development Programs in Arsi -- Change in Agricultural Production of Household -- Crop and Livestock Improvement -- Forestry. Soil Conservation. and On-Fann Grain Sttnge -- Family Income -- Savings -- Social Services -- Credit Participation -- Fann Implements -- 7. Conclusion: Strategies for Growth and for Social Transformation -- Appendix 1: Case Studies of lnterview Farmers -- Indexes.
Alemneh Dejene is a post-doctoral fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research, Harvard University.