Publication Date

2005

Abstract

In Honduras, hundreds of thousands of dollars are annually spent to promote the use of organic fertilizers, natural pest control, cover crops, agro forestry, soil preservation, and a variety of other sustainable farming techniques. Governmental, non-governmental, and multilateral institutions, who fund these agricultural projects, realize that environmentally safe agricultural practices aid in farmers' success. Furthermore, promotion of these agricultural techniques are crucial to combating problems such as malnutrition, water pollution, infant mortality, chemically induced diseases, global warming, deforestation, soil degradation, etc. Although the benefits of sustainable agricultural are logical, very few farmers are implementing new learned skills after attending trainings and/or workshops. This capstone investigates the motivating factors that influence small-scale hillside farmers to adopt new agricultural techniques. Through an extensive literature review, and more than 18 months of fieldwork and interviews with farmers in Honduras, the author draws conclusions on how the development apparatus can more appropriately design sustainable agricultural programs to motivate change in farmer's agricultural methods. The motivating factors identified were familial and communal experimentation, speed and ease of implementation, money, health, and technical trainings. A central conclusion drawn from the study reveals that the vast majority of farmers are unwilling to adopt new farming techniques until they have visually monitored the success of the given agricultural technique within their village or family.

Share

 
COinS