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Title:Agricultural innovation from above and from below: confrontation and integration on Rwanda's Hills
Authors:Van Damme, Julie
Ansoms, AnISNI
Baret, Philippe V.
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Rwanda
Subjects:agricultural innovations
small farms
Abstract:In its 2008 World Development Report, the World Bank pleaded for a 'Green Revolution' for sub-Saharan Africa, pointing particularly to the importance of including smallholder farmers. This article focuses on the banana cropping system in Rwanda, and on the agricultural innovations introduced within this system. The authors first consider macro-level innovations that are designed to promote a modernized agricultural sector and that correspond to the rationale of the Green Revolution. They analyse how such 'top-down' innovations are received on the ground and show how smallholders seek to evade new government policies when they fail to reflect local economic and social realities. This demonstrates how some rural Rwandans are challenging the authority of the government in disguised ways in order to protect their local livelihoods. The Rwandan experience should inspire continent-wide Green Revolution policies to take account of the risk-coping rationale of small-scale farmers and their capacity to innovate 'from below'. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]