Systems approach to the analysis and management of peasant agricultural development: a case of Tanzania

dc.contributor.authorBaguma, Rweikiza
dc.descriptionAvailable in print formen_US
dc.description.abstractThe main thrust of the study is to analyse peasants reactions to centrally initiated agricultural development endeavours; and to seek for factors that influence the patterns of their response, as well as an objective understanding of those factors. We conceive peasant agricultural development as a system; and we adopt the systems approach as our methodology of analysis. In Chapter one we discuss the theoretical aspects of the systems approach as a tool of analysis and its application to peasant agriculture; we show that the peasants agricultural development system is constituted of three important sub-systems, namely, the political leadership or policy makers, the experts, and the peasants. We further show how these interact and influence each other. Their interaction in the main, particularly between and among the political leadership, experts a peasants is built on inter and intra communication. Thus in analysing the influence each has on others, we talk of communication between actors in the system on the basis of an input conversion output scheme. Important aspects of the communication syndrome are what is communicated, how it is communicated and the response of impact of the communication. From the political leadership we get the policies which stipulate the changes needed in the system; then the policies are communicated to the experts to be translated into implementable plans and programmes. We argue that for their effective and appropriate translation the policies’ objectives and standards must be communicating plans and programmes to peasants, there are two important aspects, namely, the management or penetrative styles, and the resources available to make the communication effective. We further note that the above factors alone are not enough to guarantee positive response from the peasants. Hence the need to understand other factors that influence peasants perception of and hence compliance with any change, among these we note of the income prospect of change and how the changes sought interfere with their established style of life and expections. In Chapters Two through Five, we use the above framework namely, policies, plans, implementation and peasants response to analyse peasants agricultural development during the period between 1944/45 and 1979/80. Chapter Two deals with the colonial period from 1944/45 to 1961. On the basis of our analysis we show that during this era the colonial agricultural development policy constituted of creation of a kulak class of peasants, and increases in export cash crops. Planning during this period was rather ad-hoc, mainly planning of capital expenditure. The penetrative styles changed over the years first with an emphasis on transformation pursued energetically based on strict observance of regulations, later when it failed to deliver the anticipated goods, they concentrated on a focal point approach, with the attention centred on a select group of progressive farmers. Overall there was a marked increase in export crop production; however we conclude that this owed more to the favourable world prices obtaining then, rather than to the dominant policies pursued or the management styles adopted. In Chapter Three we analyse peasants’ agricultural development between 1961 and 1967. During this period there was continuity of the colonial era both in policy and approaches. However the main approach of transformation through the village settlement drive failed almost totally. It was the community development approach which was responsible for whatever progress that was achieved. Our conclusion is that in adopting the village settlement approach, the Government had not fully grasped the factors that would influence peasants compliance, particularly the prospective income to be derived. Chapter Four discusses the period between 1967 and 1972. During this period the major policy was ujamaa vijijini, whereby emphasis was on people living together and working collectively. A frontal approach was declared in 1969, although the decision to form ujamaa villages remained voluntary. By 1972 the ujamaa drive had not made much headway particularly in as far as collective agricultural production was concerned. We argue that the failure was mainly due to the failure on the part of the political leadership to stipulate clearly the policy standards; as well as to the voluntaries approach to implementation. The political leadership, the President in particular, failed to foresee the extent to which peasants were resistant to the policy, as well as whether the experts and politicians would support its implementation whole heatedly. Chapter Five focuses on development during the 1970’s. On the whole the development philosophy remained the same as pursued in the proceeding phase, that is agricultural transformation through ujamaa vijijini, however there were substantial alteration in he strategy and approach. Three important policies were enunciated during this period, first the sanctification of the Party as the supreme organ in matters of policy formulation; which was mainly concerned with clarification of the distribution of powers and authority among the organs of the State; second was decentralization of the Government planning and administrative machinery, stipulating relationships among the Party, the Government experts and the peasants; and finally was villagization which was concerned with creation of nucleated villages to constitute the necleus f social-economic transformation of the rural communities. During this period we observe that agricultural planning was undertaken at two important levels; there was on the one hand centralised planning assumed to emanate from the village level. In terms of penetrative styles, voluntarism in the formation of ujamaa villages was overtaken by the compulsory villagization policy, while after the institution of the villages the ujamaa aspect lost its eminence. Again during this phase the Government through the Decentralisation mechanism instituted what may be termed self-management at the village level, with increased government support with expertise and resources. Despite all these developments however, agricultural production continued to decline. Villagization was implemented almost according to schedule; but we observe that because of failure to provide clear and appropriate standards in policy, there were formations of numerous villages that are not economically viable. On the whole the problems in raising peasant agricultural production, continued to belie either in improper stipulation of policy objectives and standards; failure to appreciate the magnetite of change demanded by the policy in order to adopt commensurate management styles; poor communication; and failure to perceive correctly the peasants probable reactions, particularly with regard to the income prospects arising from their compliance. In Chapter six we analyse a number of cases, in pursuance of testing our hypotheses further. The general picture emerging from the cases is that peasant agricultural development is constrained on the whole, by failure to stipulate the policies clearly, particularly the standards, poor communication. Sometimes leading to poor translation of policies; and insensitivity and/or ingnorance on the part of the leadership and experts, of the peasants perceptions of their development needs and hence, their probable patterns of response. In the last chapter we firstly make general conclusions arising from the proceeding analysis, and secondly we revisit the earlier identified schools of thought seen in the background of our analysis and in comparison with the use of our model. Our final and general submission is that the systems model is ideal in analysing the peasants’ patterns of behaviour towards centrally initiated policies in the agricultural development field.en_US
dc.identifier.citationBaguma, R. (1988) Systems approach to the analysis and management of peasant agricultural development: a case of Tanzania, Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (
dc.publisherUniversity of Dar es Salaamen_US
dc.subjectEconomic aspectsen_US
dc.titleSystems approach to the analysis and management of peasant agricultural development: a case of Tanzaniaen_US