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Meknès, Morocco

Faysse N.,G EAU Research Unit | Srairi M.T.,Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine | Errahj M.,G EAU Research Unit
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension | Year: 2012

Purpose: The study investigated to what extent local farmers' organisations are spaces where farmers discuss, learn and innovate. Design/methodology/approach: Two milk collection cooperatives in Morocco were studied. The study analysed the discussion networks, their impacts on farmers' knowledge and innovation, and the performance of collective action at cooperative level. Findings: In both cooperatives, only two-thirds of the farmers regularly discussed dairy practices with other farmers. Most leaders of one cooperative were acknowledged to be experienced farmers and played key roles as advisors on dairy farming. Farmers' involvement in dialogue networks in this cooperative improved their capacity to innovate in dairy farming, even though their knowledge on some issues related to cattle, health and nutrition was not improved. In the other cooperative, experienced farmers did not share their knowledge and farmers' involvement in dialogue networks at cooperative level had no impact on their knowledge and practices. Dialogue networks and collective action were found to influence each other, since in the first cooperative, collective action was considered by members to be efficient, whereas in the second collective action was limited to milk collection. Practical implications: The study enabled identification of stumbling blocks which need to be addressed to get local farmers' organisations involved in farmer capacity-building. Originality/value: While the importance of local discussion networks for knowledge creation and diffusion is widely acknowledged, taking such networks into account in farmers' capacity-building programmes in developing countries has been hindered by their informality. Combining the analysis of dialogue networks and collective action proved to be a productive way to assess the potentialities of working with farmers' organisations with the aim of establishing a connection with local discussion networks. © 2012 Copyright Wageningen University. Source

Faysse N.,G EAU Research Unit | Faysse N.,National School of Agriculture, Meknes | Errahj M.,National School of Agriculture, Meknes | Kuper M.,G EAU Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Water Alternatives | Year: 2010

In Morocco, large-scale irrigation schemes have evolved over the past twenty years from the centralised management of irrigation and agricultural production into more complex multi-actor systems. This study analysed whether, and how, in the context of state withdrawal, increased farmer autonomy and political liberalisation, family farmers currently participate in the coordination and negotiation of issues that affect them and involve scheme-level organisations. Issues related to water management, the sugar industry and the dairy sector were analysed in five large-scale irrigation schemes. Farmer organisations that were set up to intervene in water management and sugar production were seen to be either inactive or to have weak links with their constituency; hence, the irrigation administration and the sugar industry continue to interact directly with farmers in a centralised way. Given their inability to voice their interests, when farmers have the opportunity, many choose exit strategies, for instance by resorting to the use of groundwater. In contrast, many community-based milk collection cooperatives were seen to function as accountable intermediaries between smallholders and dairy firms. While, as in the past, family farmers are still generally not involved in decision making at scheme level, in the milk collection cooperatives studied, farmers learn to coordinate and negotiate for the development of their communities. © 2010 Water Alternatives. Source

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