30. The sustainability of the impact of the integrated rural development programme (irdp) zambia/nw-province.
Schriftenreihe des FB Internationale Agrarentwicklung of the Techn. Univ. of Berlin Nr. 116, Berlin, ISBN 3-924333-70-X; 1988, 257 pp + annex
This report is the result of a three-month survey carried out by a study team from the Centre of Advanced Training in Agricultural Development
(CATAD) of the Technical University of Berlin.
The study was conducted on request of and in close cooperation with the
Integrated Rural Development Programme/North Western Province in Zambia.
The book is organized as follows:
- Chapter I: Impact of the IRDP on non-participants and reasons for non-participation
The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) in Zambia's
North-Western Province was inaugurated in 1977. Its major goal has been to improve the living conditions of the majority of the small-scale producers (farmers, bee-keepers, craftsmen) mainly by increasing their productivity and production. The approach has focused on providing these small-scale producers with access to inputs, credit and markets and to institutionalize such a mass-oriented service system after it has proved to be feasible and attractive for the target groups.
The aspects of sustainability analyzed in the study are so manifold that it is not easy to extract generalizing conclusions on the sustainability of the IRDP.
Meanwhile the major targets in terms of number of participants and production have been achieved. More than half of the rural households are actively involved. The services have been handed over to local agencies.
The IRDP has managed to make the masses of the small-scale producers the decisive factor for the regional economy (they are providing 80% of the supply, using most of the fertile land and investing their manpower in their own production activities), which can hardly be neglected anymore.
The small-scale producers are, to a certain degree, in a position to identify problems on the farm and village level on their own and to undertake problem-solving action (as far as they are provided with the necessary minimum of external support). They depend on institutions for certain means of production and for access to external markets, but they do not as much depend on support in terms of motivation, mobilization, organizational promotion and advice.
Concluding, the efforts of the IRDP to safeguard sustainability through introducing more adjusted cultivation patterns and new organizational structures have been too ambitious. The recommended intercropping packages are too sophisticated. The attempts to promote organizations which do represent the interests of the poorer sections would require massive interventions into social processes on the village level which are beyond the scope of a regional project covering 55 wards with more than 10,000 participating small-scale producers.
The IRDP's interventions directed towards the sustainability of its impact on the village level should be limited to a support of the people's own attempts by improving the information flow. This can be done without creating new, artificial structures by using the existing communication channels.
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