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13. Towards an explanation of peasant response

J. Briggs

The discussion in chapter 12 highlighted the divergence between the aims of the scheme as envisaged in 1969/70 and the subsequent reality of the Gummuiya farmers' responses. The irrigation scheme has not transformed agricultural land use and crop production in the area. This is particularly evident from the discussion of land use, where it was seen that the irrigation scheme is dominated by the production of low-value fodder crops, with riverain agriculture still providing the basis of the cash economy. Similarly, despite the new opportunities labour inputs are not markedly greater on the irrigation scheme, with farmers still retaining their labour input on the riverain land. Finally, migration, an important barometer, still continues at a high rate, suggesting that the irrigation scheme has not proved to be a sufficiently attractive force.

It is these divergences and contradictions which the present chapter seeks to go some way towards explaining. Much of the forthcoming discussion originates from more informal methods of data collection, including structured discussions with small groups of farmers, farmers' meetings, scheme officials, and individuals working in the fields. Questions were deliberately open-ended and allowed farmers to tell the author what they thought, rather than agree or disagree with what the author thought. Two important groups of factors emerged: economic and socio-cultural.

This is not to suggest that physical factors are irrelevant to the decision-making processes. Soil fertility limits the cultivable area to the irrigation scheme, the riverain land, and several small isolated patches of rainland cultivation. The availability of water puts a limit on the range of crops that can be grown. Cotton cultivation is prevented by plant diseases, according to the scheme office. The amount of rainfall and its temporal distribution influence the area cultivated. However, the introduction of the irrigation scheme should have made this factor largely irrelevant, as most of the rainland has been absorbed into the present irrigation scheme and water availability per se does not present the problem that it once did. Physical factors, therefore, related to irrigated agriculture, tend to be general considerations, placing an overall constraint on agriculture in the area, defining its potential and its limits of productivity. They do not directly influence farmers' decisions on the micro-scale, but serve as peripheral constraints.

Economic Factors

Implicit in the plans was the assumption that relatively high prices for agricultural produce during the dry period of the year from March to July would be a sufficient incentive for farmers to cultivate much-needed food crops for the Three Towns; that is, farmers would respond favourably to the workings of the price mechanism. On an empirical level, this was a reasonable assumption, as many of the farmers considered price to be an important component in influencing land use on the riverain land. In addition, there is much literature available in support of this view (for example, Falcon, 1964; Singh, 1971; Stern, 1962). Nevertheless, the favourable prices have not proved to be an adequate incentive for farmers' production on the irrigation scheme. Clearly, other factors were operating which negated this type of classical economic thinking. Or, alternatively, the underlying assumption of profit maximization is invalid in the Gummuiya situation.

It is widely accepted that the introduction of an innovation, such as an irrigation scheme, requires a new structure of agricultural practices or a new input mix, which leads ultimately to an abandonment of many former practices (Floyd and Adinde, 1967; Wharton, 1971). This is certainly true of the Gummuiya area. The off-scheme rainland is cultivated for only three months of the year and so does not exhaust the soil. No fertilizer is required, although some farmers make a point of keeping animals on the land when it is not being cultivated, and water from the heavens is free, if unreliable. Similarly, off-scheme riverain land is well soaked by the White Nile flood and retains moisture quite successfully as the flood recedes. In addition, silt deposited annually by the river helps the land to retain its fertility, without the use of artificial fertilizer. But with the introduction of the irrigation scheme, a new input mix had to be adopted which entailed production costs not previously encountered, and which were outside the scope of experience of the farmers affected. Referring specifically to the Gummuiya irrigation scheme, water has to be bought at the rate of ú1.100 per feddan per watering, and as watering must take place at least every two weeks for vegetables, and even more frequently in the summer, this entails a relatively high cost input. This has led to problems where certain unscrupulous farmers steal water at night from the feeder channels by "accidentally" destroying bunds. This is a great source of annoyance and frustration to both the scheme officals and the more honest farmers. Because of the lengthening of the growing season, applications of artificial fertilizer become increasingly necessary to retain soil fertility on the irrigation scheme. Thomson (1961) has observed that although soil on rainland can generally retain its fertility from year to year because of the limited demands put on it, it loses its fertility quite rapidly once it is irrigated and cultivated for most of the year. Fertilizer costs ranged from úS1-300m/ms to úS3 per sack at the time of the survey, depending on quality, and had to be paid for in advance, as credit is virtually unobtainable for small farmers such as the Gummuiya. A third new input is that of hired labour, which takes on greater significance with the introduction of year-round irrigation. Formerly, this surce of labour was unimportant, most labour requirements being met by family and reciprocal labour, but by the time of the present survey, over 75 per cent of farmers used hired labour at some time during the cultivation cycle. Wage rates varied according to the type of job and the time taken for its completion. The minimum wage encountered was 20 piastres per day for hoeing, and the maximum 60 piastres for six hours' work on heavy land preparation. Because most scheme production was of low value, the majority of farmers used only two or three labourers for a maximum of about ten days during cultivation, entailing labour costs of úS10úS15. This was considered excessive by farmers and many were aiming to reduce hired labour costs to about half this figure, if possible.

Clearly, the introduction of irrigation into the area has necessitated structural changes in the use of inputs in Gummuiya agriculture and these inputs require a relatively heavy financial outlay. The farmer must carefully weigh the relative merits and costs of the various inputs against his returns. Indeed, "the peasant farmer must compare the increased returns (greater output times expected prices) against the increased costs (new required inputs times known costs) before he is able to make a decision on the economic feasibility of the proposed technology. If he feels that the new technology is not economically viable for him, he will not adopt it" (Wharton, 1971).

This statement summarizes the situation facing Gummuiya farmers, who must decide to what extent they will cultivate crops on the irrigation scheme with its new input mix; it implies that farmers are rational economic men who base their decisions on economic fact. This is certainly true of the Gummuiya farmers, who have carefully considered the economic implications of using new inputs before committing themselves. As one Shiqeila farmer put it, "When you've only got about úS5 anyway to spend, you make sure you spend it to its fullest advantage." To say that these farmers are unresponsive to economic rationale is false; they are aware of the economics of farming, although other non-economic variables may play a more dominant role at a given point in time. Indeed, it is tempting to agree with the observation by Norman (1969) that the whole ill-founded concept of traditional farmers' irrationality has arisen because of the failure by economists to recognize the link between economic and non-economic variables.

A case-study of one particular farmer's inputs illustrates the point. Successful cultivation of vegetables on the irrigation scheme requires high inputs of water, fertilizer, and labour, and necessitates considerable expense. For a two-feddan area of vegetables, one farmer estimated that his total input costs would be úS58 (made up of six waterings-úS13; fertilizer-úS15; and three labourers at 50 piastres per day, for 20 days-úS30). He chose not to cultivate vegetables. On the other hand, fodder crops such as bersim and abosabayn require little in the way of inputs apart from reasonably regular watering. Although the selling price is considerably lower than for vegetables, the lower input level required makes them a more attractive proposition, involving both less expense and less effort on the part of the farmer.

Closely related is the notion of "target income" among Gummuiya farmers: a certain level of production is adequate and satisfying in the broadest sense, and any extra production above this level of satisfaction is not considered to be worth the extra effort involved. Boserup (1965) has pointed out that as agricultural systems become more complex and intensive a given unit of input produces a smaller unit of output in relative, though not in absolute, terms. This idea offers some explanation for the present situation in the Gummuiya area. There are clear advantages in adopting a low-key approach to the new agricultural system until it is better understood, particularly as the prime aim of scheme farmers is not so much "maximization of profit" as "minimization of insecurity."

A new production cost not considered by the planners is that of hired labour. It was expected that in the Gummuiya area family labour would provide the major labour input on the scheme. This situation has not materialized (table 12.6). Hired labour, involving a specific cost input, has been necessary on individual farms at particular times because family members have had too many other demands on their time and energy.

The Gummuiya priorities within the agricultural system have also contributed to the lack of vegetable production on the scheme. Livestock, particularly sheep and goats, have always been of importance to them and this did not decrease as the Gummuiya became more settled during the present century, and so the cultivation of irrigated fodder crops in preference to commercial crops can be interpreted as a reasonable response to the new opportunities. During the years prior to the establishment of the scheme, farmers had sent large numbers of livestock to friends and relatives in various other parts of the country to be looked after. This served only to reinforce the rationale behind this response, for absent livestock could now return. The production of vegetables for cash was a distinctly lower priority, as far as the farmers were concerned, than the planners had expected.

Selling animals to merchants in Omdurman would be a way of entering the cash economy. Normally, Gummuiya farmers only sell an animal to provide sufficient money to buy necessities for the family when a special need arises. There is food for thought in the comment from one farmer at Samra: "If I get money for a sheep, then I have the problem of spending it." Livestock fulfil an important role in the non-cash economy and society of the Gummuiya, and it is for this reason that production on the scheme has been orientated to fodder crops.

Riverain and rainland agriculture before the irrigation scheme began were based on short-term planning strategies, in that they met immediate needs from season to season and year to year. The irrigation scheme, on the other hand, allows and requires longer-term planning for its successful operation. Unfortunately, the long-term economic benefits may not always be particularly relevant to the small farmer of limited means. Indeed, Gould (1963) has suggested that farmers are more likely to be responsive to the prospect of short-term rather than long-term results. Benneh (1972a) is also of the opinion that farmers are responsive to innovations in the Third World context providing that, among other things, the benefits are clearly apparent. Dramatic results and positive economic benefits on a short time-scale would seem to be necessary if schemes are to be successful economically. This has not been the case with the Gummuiya scheme, in that farmers cannot see what economic benefits the scheme has brought about or, indeed, is supposed to bring about for them. Consequently, there is no incentive to commit themselves to cash-crop production.

Economic alternatives in preference to agriculture provided a further set of factors influencing farmers' responses and attitudes. The dominant alternative was non-agricultural employment in the Three Towns (or, rather, the "possibility" of non-agricultural employment). The nearness of these opportunities (or potential opportunities) is significant in distracting Gummuiya farmers from the hard work involved in regular cash-crop production. Few farmers are prepared to cut themselves off completely from rural life at present, so that if agriculture on the irrigation scheme can be improved to a position where it is as attractive as urban employment, then the drift of rural population from the Gummuiya might be checked. At the present time, though, employment in the Three Towns is a more attractive proposition. Although farmers were quite prepared to work for three to four months a year on the riverain land, few had the desire to work full-time for the whole year in agriculture: to them the potential economic returns were unable to match those perceived from some urban employment. Mohammed (1975), in his study of part of western Sudan, concluded that much of the general dissatisfaction with present-day agriculture is due to the wider range of livelihoods, not necessarily in the rural areas, now available to the farmer. The findings of the present study lend support to this observation.

Socio-cultural Factors

Their agricultural inexperience worked against the process of acceptance of the irrigation scheme among the Gummuiya. They have long been pastoralists and lack a history of cultivation. It was only in this century that the villages around the scheme became permanent settlements, and cultivation as such was limited to patches of rainland and riverain land. Though cultivation, particularly of the riverain land, has gradually expanded, year-round cultivation on an irrigation scheme was largely an unknown quantity to the Gummuiya before its introduction. The scheme was planned as a mixed farming venture, the principles of which were also unknown to the Gummuiya. A senior administrator for the area observed that the Gummuiya were neither culturally nor socially prepared for the required changes, and did not have the necessary knowledge at that time to piece together the various aspects of mixed farming into a workable enterprise. The Gummuiya's experience was limited to livestock-herding and relatively small amounts of food and fodder production. The gulf between this and the new production system based on irrigation was too wide to bridge, at least in the short term, and this has created many problems.

Ignorance through inexperience has been noted as an important factor in other situations where agricultural schemes have not achieved the expected results. In Kenya this factor has been noted with respect to the Mwea scheme (Chambers, 1969) and in the former White Highlands (Haugwitz, 1972). However, it is not just the inexperience of a whole type of agriculture but also that of the component parts that make up the whole that is important. In the Gummuiya area, inexperience in the use of fertilizer led to the wasting of money by farmers. There is the example of the farmer who experimented with sugar-beet on the scheme in spite of the fact that he had never attempted to grow the crop before; his sack would have fetched seven piastres if he had chosen to sell it, which would not have been enough to buy an equal amount of cattle fodder. Although the use of machinery is recommended, many farmers feel happier using a seluka, or digging-stick, because it is familiar and understood, though it limits both the area that can be cultivated and the range of crops that can be grown. Vegetables too require more land preparation than abosabayn. The former require bonds and well-defined irrigation channels, whereas with the latter a rough channelling only is sufficient.

At the time of the survey there was only one qualified extension officer for the 867 farmers involved on the Gummuiya scheme. Although meetings with groups of farmers were held, the officer found that it was only through personal contact with individuals that any real success could be effected. Many farmers thought that their lack of experience could only be overcome by personal contact and discussion with extension officers. At Shiqeila it was felt most strongly by farmers that they needed much closer supervision, advice, and help in their approach to agriculture from the extension service. Two things that all farmers in the area seemed to agree upon was that they wanted the scheme to be a successful, paying proposition which would improve their standard of living, and that a lack of information was a fundamental barrier to their whole-hearted acceptance of the "new" agriculture required on the irrigation scheme. One frustrating problem for the extension service was the belief among some of the older farmers that valid advice could only be taken from older people because they had had experience of life, and that younger people should not overstep their position in giving advice on agricultural matters to people older than themselves.

It is clear that the transition from the former system of agriculture, based on cultivation for only a few months each year, to a year-round irrigated system was too traumastic. The gap between the two systems was too wide to bridge in the short term. The former system had at least come to terms with environmental conditions in that, over the long term, allowing for periodic stress conditions, production was generally of a sufficiently high level to ensure that people did not starve. To reject this for a new form of production, hitherto unknown and untested in the area, entails a large element of uncertainty. In short, farmers have considerable reservations about abandoning a proven agricultural system, feeling that it is unwise to risk the livelihood and well-being of their families by concentrating all their efforts and investment on an irrigation scheme that is an unknown quantity. Some officials expressed the view that Gummuiya farmers were irrational in their failure to recognize that the scheme could ultimately be beneficial to them, though there may be problems in the short term. On the contrary, it is a perfectly normal rational reaction to be wary of an innovation which involves change of lifestyle, considerable risk, and implicitly an uncertain outcome.

Elliott (1969) has pointed out that for poor farmers, whose existing production is near subsistence levels, the risks associated with change are a matter of serious concern. Other writers have emphasized that the focus of much African agriculture is on security and therefore elements of risk and uncertainty are considered very carefully (Hunter, 1970; Fogg, 1971; Wharton, 1971). Indeed, Millikan and Hapgood (1967) have written: "even when it is proven to be profitable, the farmer may be slow to adopt . . . any innovation requiring a cash outlay, for risks are reluctantly taken by people living close to the level of starvation." Viewed in this light, the Gummuiya farmers' responses are not altogether unexpected. It would be a foolish farmer who was prepared to risk the livelihood and well-being of his family by concentrating all his efforts and investment in the unknown quantity of the irrigation scheme.

Farmers want security not only in terms of the type of agriculture practiced, but also through the crops which they themselves grow. De Wilde (1967) has suggested that the security of food-crop production overrides any possibilities of cash-crop production. Gummuiya farmers have opted to produce crops for their own and their animals' use, with any surpluses being sold for cash, rather than primarily to concentrate on cash-crop production, contrary to the original plans for the scheme. This lends further support, therefore, to the notion of farmers adopting a security strategy rather than one of profit maximization.

The fact that farmers still cultivate riverain land to a very large extent, as well as the scheme land, is another facet of the search for security. Riverain cultivation is a successful form of cultivation and provides a very useful insurance against any breakdown or failure of scheme cultivation. Farmers generally do not yet feel confident enough in the scheme to commit themselves to it totally at the expense of the riverain land. Randell (1956), in his study of the village of El Gedid on the Blue Nile, found that farmers with farms on the Gezira were reluctant to give up their rain and riverain land, for the same reason.

The attitude of the planners has proved to be vitally important in explaining subsequent responses by the farmers. The planning of the scheme was hurried and, as a consequence, not very well organized, despite the fact that good planning is essential if a scheme is to be technically, economically, and financially sound. Planning was concerned with the physical structure of the scheme, the effect of topography and the provision of water, to the neglect of the social side and the implications of change for the local economy. In essence, the scheme was provided and it was then a case of letting the farmers "get on with it." In addition, interdepartmental cooperation at governmental level was poor, which tended to alienate the government from the farmers. For example, the pumps which were installed originally were not of sufficient capacity to provide enough water for the demand at any one time and had to be replaced, causing further expense, delay, and alienation. Furthermore, the planners did not fully take into consideration the significance of Wadi el Mansurab, which runs across the northern end of the scheme from west to east, from the hills to the White Nile near the village of Tireis. This wadi used to be cultivated with aura before the scheme, on much the same lines as the flood cultivation of the Gash and Tokar deltas of eastern Sudan. The fact that the wadi flowed quite frequently in the summer was ignored, and the scheme was built across its path. When the wadi is active, its water destroys feeder channels and causes widespread flooding. In 1972, the flooding of the northern end of the scheme was particularly severe, but the problem arises to some extent annually.

These two important planning errors have been more farreaching than has been realized. The farmers pertinently point out that whenever there are mistakes by the planners it is their livelihood, not the planners', which is threatened. With this in mind, no farmer is going to risk his livelihood without being certain that the scheme is well-planned and established, and so far nothing has happened to convince him of this. The rush to get the scheme under way was intended to help benefit the Gummuiya area as soon as possible, but unfortunately the poor planning that resulted has had the opposite effect.

In addition, two equally important shortcomings in social planning have served only to alienate farmers still further and to increase their lack of confidence in the planners and the whole project. First of all, in the original land-use proposals no provision was made for aura cultivation, a basic component of the Gummuiya diet, and when cut green a valuable animal fodder. After discussions, this decision was reversed, but the failure to understand the farmers' feelings that led to the original decision continues to rankle.

The second shortcoming concerned with land tenure was of a more serious nature. When the irrigation scheme was set up, the government nationalized all the land, with the result that the Gummuiya would effectively have become tenant farmers with shares in the Gummuiya Farmers' Cooperative. This decision was unacceptable because it completely ignored traditional Gummuiya land rights, which guaranteed a farmer's freedom of choice over his own piece of land with regard to how he used it and what he grew on it. If he chose not to cultivate it at any time, then it was nevertheless still his own land, and could not be taken from him without his agreement. The conflict between the farmers and the government was eventually resolved in the favour of the farmers, although not without the generation of a good deal of bitterness and even violence Uninterested farmers, it is now argued, are threatening the very existence of the scheme because their weed growth is spread to other plots and clogs feeder channels. Traditional land rights preclude any eviction or disciplinary action against such individuals.

Such shortcomings have served to alienate the farmers from the government and the planners. Farmers are not convinced that the scheme is well-planned, and are accordingly not prepared to risk their livelihoods by taking part wholeheartedly. Kay (1965) has observed that in Zambia the same sort of situation has arisen and as a result the farmers there are unwilling to commit themselves to the new way of life.

Unfortunately, confidence in the scheme has not grown over the years, and the cause of this, according to the farmers, is the inadequacy of management. The main complaints centre on failure to provide water when required, even though payment has been made, and inability to provide useful advice on cultivation techniques and related matters. Whether or not the management is in practice efficient is irrelevant, because the universal conviction among the farmers is that no progress can be made towards improving the scheme until a new management takes over. However, the local leadership, possibly for its own ends, has tended to encourage this view of the management and they have not always looked favourably upon the scheme.

It is plain that a whole variety of factors have interacted together to explain the divergence between the planners' strategy and the farmers' response, but one single factor seems to be the key one. Due to various actions on the planning side, often associated with central government decisions, a lack of confidence has arisen. The farmers are not convinced that the scheme is properly designed, that its officials' advice can be relied upon, or that the socioeconomic life-style of the Gummuiya is sufficiently understood. Until these shortcomings are rectified, the Gummuiya are unable to "identify" with it, and the scheme can never really succeed.

14. The case reviewed

J. Briggs

It has become clear from the discussion that the aims of the planners for the Gummuiya area have not been realized and that farmers in the area have responded to the new opportunities in ways which were unplanned. The semi-arid nature of the Gummuiya environment, outlined in chapter 11, influenced many people into believing that the provision of allyear-round irrigation facilities would be the key to the area's problems. As a result, the irrigation scheme was constructed and a land-use strategy proposed which would make optimum use of the scheme land. Chapters 12 and 13 show that the Gummuiya farmers rejected the proposed land-use strategy and continued to place considerable emphasis on their riverain land. Migration to the Three Towns has continued at a high level, suggesting that the scheme has not proved to be an attractive growth point, providing real alternative employment opportunities to urban migration. The reasons for the divergence of planners' aims and farmers' responses are seen to be composed of an interrelated set of economic and socio-cultural variables, few of which had been considered by the planners. Indeed, the differences in perception and viewpoint between the planners and farmers was itself the fundamental problem.

As a result some general conclusions can be drawn.

The Need for In-depth Surveys

The problems with the Gummuiya scheme have highlighted the need for the undertaking of detailed in-depth surveys before any commitment is made to this type of project. This includes not only physical surveys of the topography of the area and of its available resources, but also of the social and economic characteristics of the region. In the Gummuiya area, the only socio-economic survey was a superficial inventory of population and livestock numbers undertaken in 1970, the results of which have subsequently proved to be inaccurate, with errors of up to 20 per cent being recorded on some variables. Basic socio-economic data is critical if planning is to have any chance of meaningful success, and although there may well be very strong temptations to speed up the process because of either governmental or local pressures, it is essential that these pressures do not result in the omission of important data or in the inaccuracy of the figures collected, as these must provide the foundation for the plan.

Incorporation of Local Farmers in Scheme Management

Local farmers should be encouraged to participate in the dayto-day operation and management of development schemes. Much criticism was levelled at the present Gummuiya Scheme management because of its apparent lack of interest in and concern for the scheme. A common view among scheme farmers was that the scheme offices were occupied by petty bureaucrats whose task was to collect water charges and nothing more. They were consequently seen as exploiters rather than enablers. The scheme officials for their part saw their appointment to the Gummuiya Scheme as a short-term measure and anticipated a not-too-distant job transfer back to Khartoum; in fact, most of the scheme officials maintained a house in the Three Towns and withdrew there as often as possible. Clearly, commitment to a development scheme by its officials is just as important as that by the participants. One way of assisting in developing a committed management would be to have in association (or sole charge) an elected (or nominated) group of local farmers who have a genuine stake in the scheme and who are responsible and reliable individuals involved in the reality of the scheme situation. This would have two advantages. Firstly, these folk would be well known and, one hopes, more approachable and aware of local feelings and sentiment. Secondly, they would be directly answerable to scheme farmers when their appointment came up for renewal. The scheme would then begin to move towards a co-operative, which was the intention of the government when it was first proposed.

Incorporation of Local Farmers in the Planning Process

It is important that those people to be affected by such projects should participate to a considerable extent in the planning process, as it is their lives that will be affected and not those of the planners. Much greater attention needs to be paid to the attitudes, aspirations, perceptions, and socioeconomic priorities of the farmers themselves. Traumatic change imposed from above is frequently resented and is seldom successful in modernizing agriculture. Change needs to be gradual and within the comprehension and experience of those who are to be affected.

Acceptance of this logically suggests peasant participation. The problem may be further compounded by the urban orientation of planners and other officials from Khartoum or elsewhere, which results in an urban bias to methodology and ideology. As a consequence, there is a real danger that, without local peasant participation, this may lead to notions and plans wholly or partly inappropriate to the needs of a particular rural area at a particular point in time. Peasant participation in the planning processes will ensure that the needs of the people to be affected will be at least incorporated into the overall planning strategy.

The Need for More than a Purely Technocratic Approach to Rural Planning

The Sudan, in common with many other semi-arid areas, has suffered from an overemphasis on the technocratic aspects of development, perhaps not surprisingly in view of the dependence on the provision of irrigation water as a policy for development. Clearly, this is very important, but far greater attention must be paid to the socio-economic aspects of development. Irrigation provision should not be seen solely in terms of cost-benefit ratios or pumping capacities relative to water demands, but also in terms of the impact of irrigation on agricultural communities. It needs to concern itself with such problems as the distribution and magnitude of social as well as economic benefits derived from the provision of an irrigation scheme. Irrigation often involves revolutionary changes in life-style, and under such circumstances development implies far more than simply the application of technology.

The Importance of Integrated Rural Development

A fundamental conclusion to be drawn from this study is the importance of an integrated approach to rural development. This follows logically from the tenet that development is more than the simple application of technology. Integrated rural development is a holistic process where by all sectors are mutually interdependent. In the Gummuiya area better health and education may aid the acceptance of year-round irrigation; an efficient marketing structure can be a vital stimulus to increased productivity; and the initiation of local, small-scale workshops to produce agricultural implements may be a way of reducing farmers' costs. Consequently, investment is spread throughout the various sectors, on the principle that this ultimately will produce a more resilient local economy.

In the Gummuiya scheme investment was focused on the irrigation process only. It was assumed that development would follow of its own accord. It did not, because irrigation is merely one facet of what should be a multifaceted development.

To return finally to the starting-point: In spite of much investment of time and money in rural sector development, the record from Africa leaves much to be desired. In the Gummuiya area the key problem has been the different viewpoints of planners and participants, particularly their perception of the meaning of "development." We contend that this point has a relevance that goes well beyond the Gummuiya area, and even beyond the Sudan itself.

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