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Rwanda Journal

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Sustainable Agricultural Development and Environment: Conflicts and Contradictions in the context of the Rwandan Agriculture.

AM Jose

Abstract


Sustainable agriculture involves not only the identification and application of improved technologies but the incorporation of ecological and socio-economic considerations. Inevitably conflicts and contradictions arise. This paper focuses on the inherent conflicts and contradictions which come in the way of operationalising the concept of sustainable development in the context of Rwandan agriculture. The importance of this paper emerges from the backdrop of the state, politics and society in Rwanda. As it is well known, conflicts in Rwandan society had its roots in agrarian issues. This paper, therefore, deals with the aspects of productivity and stability, sustainability and equitability. It is intended to stress upon the need for institutional changes that would take into account the organizational lapses in managing agribusiness in Rwanda. Self-help Groups and Co-operatives are found to be the most appropriate rural organizations in Rwanda as they can venture into an area where private sector and state are afraid of. Unless people’s awareness, attitudes and perceptions towards environment are changed, sustainable agricultural practices as conceived in the present form appear to be a distant dream. The main factors that may be instrumental in changing the perceptions of the people towards environment and achieving the objectives of sustainable agricultural development are (i) literacy, (ii) market forces, (iii) technologies and (iv) institutional changes in terms of agrarian reforms.



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