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Getting technical: Farmers' new strategies to exercise agency in negotiating development projects in Morocco

Faysse N., Thomas L.. 2016. Forum for Development Studies, 43 (2) : p. 229-249.

DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2015.1094509

Moroccan agricultural policies have not encouraged farmer participation in the design of development projects. However, changes are underway in Moroccan rural society, involving democratic opening and higher literacy rates. The present study analysed how farmers exercised agency in the design of two projects for the production and marketing of apples. These farmers had limited patronage networks to provide leverage on the main actor involved in decision-making, but their leaders had a good level of education. Farmers actively negotiated the characteristics of the projects, especially by making counter-proposals that took public actors' objectives and constraints into account. For negotiations at higher levels, they formed coalitions with the local administration. Key characteristics of the projects were modified according to farmers' proposals. This way of exercising agency is innovative in the sense that it is not based on claiming rights or on cultivating relations with influential figures.

Mots-clés : maroc

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