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Coordination: key to development: Field study about rural livelihoods in Ribáuè and the impact of coordination failure
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. (Dalarud/Banning)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. (Dalarud/Banning)
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master thesis is the result of a study in which we looked at people's livelihoods - through the sustainable rural livelihoods analytical framework - from a coordination failure perspective. During three weeks spent in the district of Ribáuè, Mozambique, enabled us to conduct interviews with people from many different social categories and understand the conditions in which small-scale farmers live.

The paper tackles issues related to development in general and governmental intervention and contributes to the debate about the type of growth which is on-going in Mozambique. What are the coordination failures that impact people's livelihoods in Mozambique, a country where strong economic growth does not seem to help the poorest to get out of poverty.

Abstract [en]

The Mozambican economy is characterised by a high level of employment in the agricultural sector. Most farmers are small-scale and farm for subsistence. As development at global level will continue to pressure these farmers to increase their productivity, the question is to know how this will affect the small-scale farmers’ capacity to improve their livelihoods. The economy of the African continent is predicted to rise substantially and countries like Mozambiquehave been praised for their staggering economic growth. However despite growth, the situation remains unchanged for many small-scale farmers. The intention of this research is then to look into the conditions in which small-scale agricultural activities take place. This study was carried out is the district of Ribáuè, located in the northern provinceof Nampula, Mozambique and adopts an abductive approach as it investigates coordination failures around farming activities. In other words, aspects concerning agricultural activities that are difficult to observe, will be included. The starting point for this argument is that it is impossible to obtain sustainable development (i.e. including small-scale farmers) without taking a holistic approach. Through this study, it becomes clear that small-scale farmers face a variety of obstacles from which patterns can be extracted. Strong emphasis is put on the importance of surrounding factors such as infrastructures, access to credit, wage work opportunities, access to inputs, extension services, and market access.  All these factors impact people’s livelihoods; and by investing in all of them in a coordinated way, it creates synergetic effects and boosts the potential for further development of each feature. This inter-connectivity becomes clear when considering that wage work opportunities are created when investments are made in the rehabilitation of infrastructures or the expansion of extension services. Furthermore, market access increases when the connectivity of remote farmers is improved and their livelihoods develop when their surplus can be sold. The amount of surplus farmers have is in turn affected by their financial capital, access to inputs, and access to extension services. Singling out one of these features as more important than the others risks missing the point and hindering sustainable development. This calls for big versatile government investments, in the form of big push policies, to ensure that these areas inter-connect and to create the highest possible levels of synergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 88 p.
Keyword [en]
development, Mozambique, Nampula, Ribaue, sustainable rural livelihood, coordination failure, big push, agriculture, small-scale farmers, Banning, Dalarud, peace
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-20790OAI: diva2:540977
External cooperation
ECODIN (Mozambique)
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Work, Master Programme, 60 credits
2012-06-15, Linnéuniversitet, Växjö, 10:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-08-15 Created: 2012-07-12 Last updated: 2012-08-15Bibliographically approved

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