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Participatory planning and extension: an agroforestry case study from plateau state, Nigeria

Hunter, Barry Wayne (1999) Participatory planning and extension: an agroforestry case study from plateau state, Nigeria. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In 1991 and 1992 the author and the Jos Plateau Environmental Resources Development Programme (JPERDP), embarked on a rural development project in northern Nigeria. The project was aimed at creating agroforestry vision and building agroforestry capacity within the Plateau Agricultural Development Programme (PADP), a Nigerian State institution. The project consisted of a series of participatory workshops, which focused on agroforestry techniques, participatory extension and operational planning. Since agroforestry is a diverse discipline involving crops, trees and livestock, it requires integrative approaches and is well suited to participatory methods. The project provoked the following questions: "If agroforestry is best accomplished using participatory methods, can it be integrated into an established bureaucracy?" and "What can be learned about a participatory development approach related to the institution in which it is employed?". These questions form the basis of the dissertation .In 1993 the author re-visited the agroforestry section of the PADP with the intention of answering these questions. This evaluation formed the basis for a case study. The review methodology included semi-structured interviews, detailed interviews, file and record reviews and a backstopping workshop. Further, a detailed literature search on rural development, extension, agroforestry and the Nigerian situation was completed to provide a framework for analysing the PADP case study. Results indicated that the project goals of "vision creation" and "capacity building" were only partly achieved because PADP extension methods were not altered; middle level staff were better informed than lower and upper level staff cadres; and PADP resources were not mobilised to address agroforestry concerns. However, technical agroforestry activities within the PADP increased as a partial result of the project. The original project goals were likely too ambitious. These goals were not shared or fully adopted by the organisation because inadequate attention was paid to PADP's organisational culture when formulating and implementing the project. Further, the weak links between staff levels and between the technical section and extension section of the PADP posed serious constraints to the full adoption of the agroforestry extension project. To introduce a participatory agroforestry extension project within a large bureaucratic organisation is a considerable task. This study demonstrates the complexities associated with such rural development projects. Given the constraints faced by the author during the project and the constraints faced daily by the PADP, the limited success of the project is understandable. Even with its limitations, the project has provided a valuable, real world example with its inherent complexities and can serve as a guide in future projects.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:45

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