Farmer’s participation in the Treinta y Tres Rural Development Committee
Keywords:participation spaces, rural development committees, institutional innovation, public policy
The Rural Development Committees (rdc) have been used to involve local actors in the design and implementation of public policies that relate to rural development. As institutional and organizative innovations, these new spaces are currently in progress and it is relevant to contribute to their operation assessment. The objective of this particular article is to contribute to get a better knowledge of these new rural development devices. The research focused on getting to know how farmers in an rdc, the Treinta y Tres rdc, appreciate their participation on it and provide information to improve its performance. A systematization of national background studies in different locations of the country was made and the available literature was reviewed. As the main outcome of the research, four analytical categories relevant to the study were grouped from the evaluations of seven papers about the performance of the rdc: motivation and training for participation, influence of farmers’ opinion on decision making, farmers’ possibilities for providing initiatives and the practical operation of the rdc. Three exploratory interviews with key informants and ten in-depth interviews with farmers who integrate the rdc were done. Through the triangulation of tools and sources of information, the main result is the importance of problematizing the participation of farmers in these new inter-institutional devices to represent true areas of rural development. Participation is a fashionable term and it is used with various meanings depending on political, economic or social point of view which makes it a vague concept. The achieved results allow us to affirm that farmers and their organizations don't yet fully recognize the rdc as a real participation space for the effective promotion of the rural development.