Labour, Class and Technological Change: The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) in West Africa


The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) achieves higher yields with fewer water and seed by changing how plants, soil, water and nutrients are managed. This thesis explores the interrelations of labour, class and technological change arising from the spread of SRI in West Africa. The analytical perspective combines the Farming Systems approach with Marxist political economy. It used mixed methods: A qualitative case study based on 4 weeks of in-depth fieldwork aimes to identify mechanisms that drive adoption of SRI and mediate the distribution of benefits. Quantitative analysis of existing household survey data from three West African countries allowes to ascertain the generalizability of the case study results and to quantify observed effects. Then differences in adoption patterns and impact in different agrarian classes between West Africa and Asia are discussed.

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