- Published on Monday, 11 June 2012 02:39
- Written by LUDOVICK KAZOKA
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SCHOLARS have advised the government to prioritise the needs of peasants while implementing the Green Revolution Initiative (Kilimo Kwanza) in order to maintain food security in the country.
Prof. Bernadeta Killian told the intellectual forum in Dar es Salaam over the weekend that instead of the ‘Kilimo Kwanza’ which literally means agriculture first, the catchphrase would have been appropriate had it been ‘Mkulima Kwanza’, meaning peasant first.
“The peasant economy is facing serious threats from both the state and global capital. The struggle over land between peasants and the state, peasants and foreign capital, peasants and pastoralists has intensified in recent years,” she said.
Prof. Killian was presenting a paper on ‘Making Sense of Governance’ during the forum organized by the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) to honour distinguished Professor Emeritus Goran Hyden. In his remarks, Prof. Humphrey Moshi said the studies had to be conducted before embarking on the Kilimo Kwanza initiatives to establish the needs of the peasants because they have different needs.
“It was not wise to start supplying power tillers to every region before establishing the needs of peasants in those regions. Some regions have turned the power tillers into trucks to transport goods,” he said. Prof. Apolo Nsibambi, a former Prime Minister of Uganda, said peasant mode of production is maintained by a set of cultural values and attitudes, saying that peasant households resist external controls as they are determined to maintain their autonomy.
“Colonial powers and post-independence governments failed in their attempts to transform this mode of production,” noted Prof. Nsibambi. In closing remarks, UDSM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Rwekaza Mukandala, said the forum was organized to honour the contribution made by Prof. Hyden in academia, saying his academic works are being used across the world.
Prof. Hyden is one of the pioneers of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the UDSM where he had spent over 20 years before moving to other East African universities including Makerere and Nairobi University.